Biden Plans Covid Vaccine Push

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who opposes an increase in coronavirus cases and the emergence of a new variant that could make the pandemic significantly worse, is planning a vaccination offensive that promises and calls for greatly expanded access to the vaccine Use a law of war to expand production.

His plan clashes with a sobering reality, however: with just two federally-approved vaccines, supplies will run short over the next few months, frustrating some state and local health officials who had hoped that the release of a federal supply of vaccine doses announced this week could address this shortage alleviate. Trump administration officials made it clear on Friday that the existing supply would only be used to give a second dose to people who had already received the vaccine, and not to new populations.

“The introduction of vaccines in the US so far has been a dismal failure,” said Biden. “The honest truth is that things get worse before they get better. And the policy changes that we are going to make will take some time to show up in the Covid statistics. “

The president-elect said he would invoke the Defense Production Act if necessary to help build vaccine supplies. But the team also tried to lower expectations. Mr Biden said his plan “does not mean that everyone in these groups will be vaccinated immediately because the care is not where it needs to be.” But, he added, it will mean that as doses become available, “we will reach more people who need them.”

The Biden team pledged to ramp up vaccinations in pharmacies and build mobile vaccination clinics to deliver vaccines to hard-to-reach and underserved rural and urban communities, emphasizing equality in distribution.

Speaking of “the tragic reality of the disproportionate impact of this virus on black, Latino and Native American populations,” Mr Biden added that “justice is central to our response to Covid”.

Like the Trump administration, Mr Biden urged states to expand vaccine approval groups to include people 65 and over.

The administration will also “provide programs for high-risk facilities, including homeless shelters, prisons and facilities that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” the fact sheet reads.

In some ways, Mr Biden’s proposals are in line with those of the Trump administration, which earlier this week also called for vaccination eligibility to be opened up to groups aged 65 and over, increased use of pharmacies and vaccinations to be relocated to state-qualified health centers. The Trump administration has also frequently used the Defense Manufacturing Act to give vaccine manufacturers priority over suppliers of raw materials and other materials.

Mr Biden unveiled the vaccine distribution plan just a day after proposing a $ 1.9 trillion spending package to combat the economic downturn and Covid-19 crisis, including $ 20 billion for a “national.” Vaccination program “. The president-elect has repeatedly stated that he intends to “get 100 million Covid vaccine shots into the arms of the American people” by his 100th day in office.

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