Trump Reverses Course

The Trump Administration reverses course and refuses to provide vaccines to nursing home industry until after Christmas. The Administration is telling groups that are giving the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to wait until the New Year to inoculate caregivers and residents. CBS News reports Trump’s reversal contradicts a CDC recommendation that they be among the first to get the vaccine.CBS News obtained two Operation Warp Speed documents telling providers that the “earliest the program can turn on is Dec 21st.” The documents were from DHHS with guidance for CVS and Walgreens. The pharmacy chains are responsible for vaccinating long-term care facility caregivers and residents.The vaccine should be available this week for use in nursing homes, where the mortality rate for COVID-19 is high.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb was FDA commissioner in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019. Gottlieb is also on Pfizer’s board of directors. He said on Face the Nation:

 “There [are] 50,000 new infections in nursing homes every week right now, probably more than that. And we know 20% of people in the nursing homes who are infected will succumb to the infection. So, there’s a lot of death happening in these nursing homes.”

 Robert Garrett, the CEO of the New Jersey hospital system Hackensack Meridian Health, told Face the Nation the company was told nursing home vaccinations would start Dec. 21.The states are setting priorities on who gets to receive the vaccine, but the CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) advised that health care workers and residents of nursing homes and other residential care facilities should be first in line.