Bids weigh in by increasing vaccine production with supportive wartime production laws

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus virus advisory team consulted scientists and supply chain experts on whether it should implement a wartime production law to produce and help the Kovid-19 vaccine, two consultants discussed. go.

President Donald Trump has already called for the Defense Production Act, or DPA, to expedite the production of medical supplies and components to test for coronovirus, and he increased the likelihood of using the law again for vaccines is. Manufacturers have stated that there may be a shortage of components to make vaccines.

The DPA was enacted during the Korean War to force the federal government to manufacture manufacturing for national defense. Advisers said Biden’s team explored this by using it in an attempt to meet the goal of mass vaccination in the summer next month.

Biden’s aides have already started warning that mass vaccinations could be anticipated in the spring at the time of the Trump administration, which Biden would blame if expectations were not met. Whether or not to implement DPA to speed up production may be a preliminary test for Biden.

Scientists are advising the Biden team on how DPA can “enhance parts of the construction process”, one of the consultants said, declining to be more specific.

As part of negotiations to sell 100 million more vaccine supplements to Americans, drug giant Pfizer has pressed the Trump administration to activate the DPA. Pfizer and Modern are the only two companies granted the Emergency Use Authority by the Food and Drug Administration and distribute and administer Kovid-19 vaccines.

A Pfizer spokesperson said the company continues to work with the government and is confident that it can “overcome any obstacles that it may present itself as we must allow manufacturing to deliver any additional supplements” Work on the ramp. “

But Biden officials say several serious issues need to be considered before using the law. A primary concern, an official said, would be how to apply the law in an equitable manner that does not favor one company over another.

Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, two other pharmaceutical companies, are in the final stages of testing the vaccines, and they hope to complete and apply for the Emergency Use Authority in February.

Dr. who led vaccine trial efforts for the Trump administration. Brett Girir said that most of the US population could be vaccinated in late spring or early summer. But Biden officials say many obstacles stand in the way, mainly due to a shortage in vaccine supplies.

Vaccination of 70 percent of the population by spring, which experts say is the level necessary to end the transmission of the virus, is unlikely without a substantial increase, said Topher Spiro, vice president of health policy at the Liberal-Leaning Center for American Progress. is. Supply.

“Right now, we don’t have that,” Spyro said. “It’s about scaling production so that we can get herd immunity as soon as possible.”

Spiro said there are also concerns about the lack of syringes and needles.

In July, Spyro named Biden Kovid-19 a member of the transition advisory board, Dr. Co-wrote a comprehensive commentary proposal with Zeke Emanuel. Their blueprint uses DPA to “coordinate vaccine manufacturing capacity and supply chains” for glass vials, syringes, needles and other supplies.

Spiro said the law would also help companies with existing manufacturing facilities handle large-scale production of vaccines. He used pharmaceutical giant Merck as a company with huge production capacity, which could be used to produce another company’s vaccines.

Spyro said the DPA could also be used for mass production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, requiring a single dose rather than the two-shot required by Pfizer and Modern vaccines.

Spiro said there are other ways to increase the supply of the vaccine and the vaccine component without invoking the DPA, pointing to a facility at Texas A&M University under the government’s contract to mass produce vaccines We do.

Claire Heller has contributed.

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