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Trump, US officials could be offered COVID-19 vaccine soon

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  • President Donald Trump and other top US officials could receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as Monday, but the president has said he will wait to receive it until the “appropriate time.”
  • It is not clear when President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will have access to the shots.
  • The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization to Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine on Friday, and truckloads of the drug started rolling out of its Michigan plant over the weekend. 
  • The vaccine will likely take months before it is widely available, though it is possible that everyone in the US who wants a shot could have access to one by May of next year.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump and other top US officials could be offered the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as Monday, sources told Bloomberg, but the president said he does not plan to be among the first people to receive the shot.

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization to Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine on Friday, and truckloads of the drug started rolling out of its Michigan plant over the weekend. 

The vaccine will be offered to Trump, who has already contracted the novel coronavirus, and other officials deemed essential to ensure continuity in government, Reuters reported. Critical staff in all three branches of government will be offered the vaccine in the coming days.

“The American people should have confidence that they are receiving the same safe and effective vaccine as senior officials of the United States government on the advice of public health professionals and national security leadership,” John Ullyot, spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

However, Trump said on Sunday that he does not plan to be vaccinated as early as possible, and that other White House staff should not either unless “specifically necessary.”

“People working in the White House should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary. I have asked that this adjustment be made,” he wrote in a Sunday night tweet. “I am not scheduled to take the vaccine, but look forward to doing so at the appropriate time.”

It is not clear when President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will have access to the shots.

Former US presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton have offered to receive the vaccine while being filmed in order to build public confidence in the drug’s safety. 

The federal government is distributing the vaccine to states and territories based on their adult populations, while each state can determine how to distribute its supply. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that healthcare workers and nursing-home residents be first in line to receive the vaccine.

Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration said Sunday that the first COVID-19 vaccinations could be administered as early as Monday.

After its approval on Friday, the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine became the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the US. The authorization came after an independent expert panel evaluated the data on the vaccine. Moderna’s vaccine is still under review.

Though the vaccine could start being administered tomorrow, it will likely take months before it is made available to any American who wants it. Business Insider’s Hilary Brueck reported it is possible that everyone in the US who wants a shot could have access by the end of May 2021.

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