Health Care

Trump ‘vaccine summit’ will not include vaccine manufacturers

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A Trump administration “vaccine summit” aimed at building confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines under development and awaiting approval will not feature any of the vaccine manufacturers.

The summit, to be held inside the White House on Tuesday, will feature panels of federal health officials, governors including Florida’s Ron DeSantis (R) and Louisiana’s John Bel Edwards (D), as well as representatives from companies involved in the distribution process like FedEx, UPS, CVS, McKesson and ThermoFisher. 

Pfizer and Moderna, the two leading COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, will not have representatives at Tuesday’s White House vaccine summit despite being invited, administration officials said.

The absences will be conspicuous, as the summit is scheduled to take place just two days before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee is set to publicly review data and vote whether to recommend the agency green light Pfizer’s vaccine.

A similar advisory committee meeting is set to review the evidence of Moderna’s vaccine next week.

A spokesperson for Moderna said the company was contacted by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed “to be part of a meeting at the White House concerning COVID-19 vaccine plans and indicated its willingness to participate. Subsequently, Moderna learned that, based on the meeting’s agenda, its participation would not be required.”

According to administration officials, the event will feature regulators who will discuss the vaccines, so it would not be appropriate to have the companies there as well.

The Trump administration has reportedly been pressuring the FDA regulators to move quicker on authorization of the vaccines. 

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has reportedly been summoned to the White House twice to explain the agency’s timeline for issuing emergency use authorizations for Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines.

Officials acknowledged to reporters Monday they wanted to ensure Peter Marks, the FDA official in charge of the agency division overseeing vaccine approvals, was “focused on moving the process along, but we weigh that against the imperative to ensure that Americans have great confidence in these vaccines.”

Tags Coronavirus Food and Drug Administration Ron DeSantis Vaccine

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