President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday to prioritize Americans in applying the COVID-19 vaccine, before the US government helps other nations of the world. The president will re-emphasize to the American people that the “priority has been a ‘America First’ approach,” during a vaccine summit he plans to hold at the White House on Tuesday.
Trump’s intention with this meeting is to increase confidence in the new vaccines among the American public, according to a senior administration official. The president will open the summit with comments, followed by discussions on how the vaccines were developed and how they will be regulated, distributed and administered.
The Republican has claimed personal credit for the rapid development of coronavirus vaccines, which were assisted by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program . Pfizer and Moderna applied for FDA approval for their vaccines, which are more than 90 percent effective, according to preliminary data from clinical trials.
Federal officials have said states will receive initial deliveries of the two vaccines within 24 hours of regulatory approval. Pfizer’s vaccine could be approved next week, Vice President Mike Pence said.
Each shot will be tracked by a computer system developed by Palantir Technologies and Oracle, said another senior administration official. No health provider can administer a vaccine without being enrolled in the system, said the official, which will provide a daily record of how many people in the country have been vaccinated.
The two companies are close to the White House. Palantir Chairman Peter Thiel and Oracle CEO Safra Catz have been Trump supporters.
The administration aims to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of the year, the official said. No federal employee except Native American health workers, veterans and the military is likely to play a role in distributing the vaccine to the general public, the second official said.
Once the needs of the United States are met, government agencies, including the Export-Import Bank and the International Development Finance, will address the distribution of vaccines to other countries that need them.