President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order on COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday, Fox News reported on Monday, citing senior administration officials.
In distributing the coronavirus vaccines, "an America First approach" will be applied, meaning US citizens will be given priority access to the inoculations.
"The priority is to make sure we distribute these vaccines to Americans before we start shipping them around the world to get international access", the senior officials said, adding that the international delivery could start "late spring, early summer" after the US is finished "vaccinating those who have a desire to be vaccinated".
On Tuesday, the White House is hosting a "Vaccine Summit" with vaccine manufacturers and drug distributors. However, Pfizer and Moderna, the two major manufacturers expected to soon receive the US Food and Drug Administration's approval for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccines, have rejected invitations to attend the event.
At the Saturday rally in Valdosta, Georgia, the US president said that the vaccines would be available this week. According to the Trump administration, some 60-70 million doses could be available per month starting in January, as soon as the FDA approves the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Trump had pledged that the US would obtain a vaccine against COVID-19 by Election Day, accusing the vaccine developer Pfizer of conspiring with Democrats and the FDA to deliberately slow down delivery, allegedly in a bid to undermine his election campaign promises.