Americans will not have to travel far to receive a coronavirus vaccine, and the Trump administration's goal is access for every American through doctor's offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals and health centers, a senior administration official told FOX Business.
Hopes are high for a possible coronavirus vaccine after the U.S. government reached a $1.95 billion deal with Pfizer and BioNTech for 100 million doses of the companies' experimental COVID-19 vaccine once it obtains FDA approval.
The Department of Health and Human Services is getting help from medical ethicists to craft a distribution and allocation plan, the official said. Operation Warp Speed, created to accelerate the development of a vaccine, will implement the plan but will not have a role in crafting policy.
The Department of Defense may help distribute vaccine doses as well, the official said.
Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., expressed concerns about the equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccine doses during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Tuesday. The hearing featured representatives from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Merck.
"What I also want to ensure is that there's sufficient political will and corporate courage to ensure that a vaccine is not only accessible to the patients and communities hit hardest by coronavirus but also intentionally distributed to them as well," Kennedy said. "It has been the choices of generations of elected officials and a health care industry that has led to some of the historic disparities we have seen throughout the course this pandemic, particularly for communities of color."
Kennedy reminded the drug company executives that they have a "responsibility" to the American people, whose tax dollars have gone to some of the companies working on a vaccine