Trump To Sign Executive Order Prioritizing Americans Over Foreign Nations For COVID-19 Vaccine

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Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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A Trump administration official confirmed Monday night that President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday instructing the government to prioritize Americans in the distribution of coronavirus vaccines before vaccine aid to foreign nations.

Trump will sign the order during a White House coronavirus vaccine summit, a senior administration official told reporters Monday night. The news of the executive order was originally reported Monday by Fox News.

Senior administration officials also told Fox News that the president hopes to signal to the American people that the administration’s coronavirus response and vaccine distribution’s “priority has been an America First approach.”

Another official told Fox News that “We will very soon have highly effective COVID-19 vaccines to the American people.” The official added that a vaccine is “critical to ensuring the health and safety of our citizens, viability of the economy and the security of our nation,” according to Fox News.

The first part of the order will instruct Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Alex Azar to prioritize American citizens over foreign nations to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

The second part of the order will give HHS, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other executive departments guidelines on how to negotiate with foreign countries for the vaccine’s international distribution, an official told reporters Monday night.

“The priority is to make sure we distribute these vaccines to Americans before we start shipping them around the world to get international access,” a Trump administration official reportedly told Fox News. The United States could start distributing the vaccine to foreign nations in “late spring, early summer” after the United States vaccinates “those who have a desire to be vaccinated,” the official added.

The FDA is scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss the emergency authorization application filed by Pfizer and BioNTech for their coronavirus vaccine that is reportedly over 90% effective. Authorization to use the Pfizer vaccine could come as soon after the meeting as Friday, a source with intimate knowledge of the White House coronavirus task force told Fox News. (RELATED: UK Approves Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine For Emergency Use)

The following week on Dec. 17, the FDA will also discuss Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency authorization use.

Beyond Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, four other vaccine candidates could be considered in the near future by the FDA for emergency authorization use, Fox News reports.

Christian Datoc contributed to this report.