As America continues to pursue a viable and effective coronavirus vaccine, an additional hurdle will include facilitating distribution of the potentially life-saving medication as quickly as possible.
To that end, President Donald Trump revealed on Tuesday that the military will be used in a large-scale effort to get a prospective vaccine into the hands of those who need it.
“Dramatically ramped up production”
As was the case in the early days of the pandemic regarding coronavirus testing, it is becoming clear that significant changes to the existing system will be needed to expedite the mass production and distribution of a vaccine.
The president has already instructed facilities to prepare for the need to produce huge quantities of the composition when it is created and approved.
To bolster that system, he announced this week that the U.S. military would be called into action.
“We’ve dramatically ramped up production of materials needed for a vaccine and are on track to rapidly produce 100 million doses as soon as a vaccine is approved which could be very, very soon,” he said. “Logistically we’re using our military.”
Trump went on to express his confidence that the men and women in uniform were up to the task.
“Safe and effective preventative vaccine”
“Our great military, a group of people, their whole life is based around logistics and bringing things to and from locations,” he said. “They’ll be able to care of this locationally and bringing it where it has to go very quickly.”
As the National Institutes for Health reported on Monday, Phase 3 clinical trials have begun to evaluate the efficacy of an investigational vaccine. The progress elicited optimism from a number of medical experts, including White House coronavirus task force adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“Although face coverings, physical distancing and proper isolation and quarantine of infected individuals and contacts can help us mitigate SARS-CoV-2 spread, we urgently need a safe and effective preventive vaccine to ultimately control this pandemic,” he said. “Results from early-stage clinical testing indicate the investigational mRNA-1273 vaccine is safe and immunogenic, supporting the initiation of a Phase 3 clinical trial.”
Fauci pointed to a “scientifically rigorous, randomized, placebo-controlled trial” as necessary to determine whether the vaccine is effective and for how long.
While there are obvious political benefits to developing and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine, the Trump administration continues to emphasize its focus on protecting as many Americans as possible.