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Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Joe Biden will use the Defense Production Act to boost COVID vaccine production, adviser reveals amid doubt over Donald Trump's timelines of shots for all by June

 Joe Biden plans to use the Defense Production Act to boost coronavirus vaccine production, a member of the president-elect's COVID-19 advisory board revealed Monday.

'You will see him invoking the Defense Production Act,' Dr. Celine Gounder told CNBC's 'Squawk Box' in a Monday morning interview.

'The idea there is to make sure the personal protective equipment, the test capacity and the raw materials for the vaccines are produced in adequate supply,' she continued.

Ahead of pharmaceutical and biotechnical companies Pfizer and Moderna being granted authorization earlier this month for widespread vaccination distribution, Biden vowed to deliver 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office – specifically to those on the front lines in hospitals and those in long term care facilities.

Many have already started getting vaccinated, including members of Congress and medical care workers.

The Defense Production Act, a wartime production law, allows the president to compel companies to prioritize manufacturing for national security purposes.

Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of Joe Biden's COVID-19 advisory board, revealed Monday the president-elect will use the Defense Production Act after he takes office to boost coronavirus vaccine production

Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of Joe Biden's COVID-19 advisory board, revealed Monday the president-elect will use the Defense Production Act after he takes office to boost coronavirus vaccine production

Biden received his COVID-19 shot on camera to help invoke public trust in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines

Biden received his COVID-19 shot on camera to help invoke public trust in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines

Biden gets a dose of COVID-19 vaccine live
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If enacted when Biden takes office next month, it could help the U.S. secure specialized products and components that manufacturers, like Pfizer and Moderna, need to produce vaccines on a more widespread level.

The Pfizer vaccine was approved for emergency use authorization in mid December by the Food and Drug Administration and a week later the Moderna vaccine was given the same authorization.

Biden got his shot on camera to boost public confidence in the vaccine as a growing number of Americans express skepticism toward getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Gounder received the Pfizer vaccine on December 23 and posted pictures of it to Twitter, writing: 'Today I #GotMyShot: to protect myself, my patients, my family, and my community against COVID. I am thankful and relieved.'

Biden announced he and vice president-elect Kamala Harris' coronavirus advisory team last month, including Gounder, a clinical assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

The team is co-chaired by Obama-era Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former FDA Commissioner David Kessler and Yale public health professor Marcella Nunez-Smith.

Donald Trump said he and White House staff will not receive the vaccine before it is available to the public – and a report last week indicated the president would not take it until the White House medical team advises him to do so.

Biden slams Trump administration's obstruction of transition
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Gounder posted a picture of her receiving her shot to Twitter, with a mask afterwards reading: 'Vaccinated'

Gounder posted a picture of her receiving her shot to Twitter, with a mask afterwards reading: 'Vaccinated'

She also posted an image of her record card showing she received the Pfizer vaccination on December 23

She also posted an image of her record card showing she received the Pfizer vaccination on December 23

Biden's team has been considering enacting the Defense Production Act after the New York Times reported last week the Pfizer has been asking since September that the Trump administration help them obtain supplies needed for vaccine production.

The report continues that Pfizer indicated there was a lack of response to their requests.

Pfizer reached a deal with the U.S. last week to supply an additional 100 million doses of the vaccine by July on top of the original 100 million shots already locked in. The deal included the federal government agreeing to invoke the Defense Production Act to help the company secure nine products needed to make the vaccine. 

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