COVID19 🦠 Newsbites
Trump administration officials passed when Pfizer offered in late summer to sell the U.S. more vaccine doses.
Trump administration officials passed when Pfizer offered in late summer to sell the U.S. government additional doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, according to people familiar with the matter. Now Pfizer may not be able to provide more of its vaccine to the United States until next June because of its commitments to other countries, they said.

As the administration scrambles to try to purchase more doses of the vaccine, President Trump plans on Tuesday to sign an executive order “to ensure that United States government prioritizes getting the vaccine to American citizens before sending it to other nations,” according to a draft statement and a White House official, though it was not immediately clear what force the president’s executive order would carry.

That included whether it would expand the U.S. supply of doses beyond what is spelled out in existing federal contracts.

The vaccine being produced by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, is a two-dose treatment, meaning that 100 million doses is enough to vaccinate only 50 million Americans. The vaccine is expected to receive authorization for emergency use in the U.S. as soon as this weekend, with another vaccine, developed by Moderna, also likely to be approved for emergency use soon.

The Kremlin Is Offering Russians Free Vaccines, but Will They Take Them?
Distrust of the government is so widespread that 59 percent of Russians say they have no intention of getting a shot.

... Russia made its coronavirus vaccine available for free in recent days to teachers, medical workers and social-service employees younger than 61 in Moscow. But even more than in the West, a lack of trust is hobbling Russia’s rollout of a vaccine: the country’s scientists may well have made great strides in battling the pandemic, but many Russians are not ready to believe it.

That distrust looms large as Russia races to roll out the vaccine while facing the fiercest onslaught of the pandemic yet, with some 500 deaths per day.

The government, in part, has itself to blame. President Vladimir V. Putin proclaimed in August that Russia had become the first country in the world to approve a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, to great fanfare in the state media, even though it had not been tested in a large-scale medical trial. Mr. Putin said the vaccine worked “effectively enough,” given the health emergency, but critics charged that he was dangerously short-circuiting the long established process for developing safe vaccines.