President-elect Joe Biden plans to invoke the Defense Production Act to speed up production of coronavirus vaccines, CNBC reports.
“You will see him invoking the Defense Production Act,” Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board, told the network on Monday. “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.”
The Defense Production Act is a wartime law that allows the president to require companies to aid with manufacturing critical to national security.
The law may help companies get raw materials needed to manufacture the vaccines.
Trump invoked law for Pfizer:
Pfizer had asked the Trump administration for months to use its power to help them buy raw materials amid a production shortage but was disappointed by the lack of response.
Pfizer said last week that it finally reached an agreement with the administration to produce an additional 100 million doses by July.
The administration agreed to invoke the Defense Production Act to “help Pfizer get better access to around nine specialized products it needs to make the vaccine.”
The move raised concerns that the administration was favoring Pfizer over other vaccine manufacturers.
Vaccine goal “unlikely to be met”:
The vaccine rollout has already run into delays and Trump administration officials admitted that it will be unlikely to reach its goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of the month.
Fewer than 2 million people have been vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Moncef Slaoui, the administration’s coronavirus vaccine czar, told reporters on Wednesday that the goal of 20 million vaccinations is “unlikely to be met.”