Pfizer and Moderna reject Trump's invitations to White House ‘Vaccine Summit’
Pfizer and Moderna, the top two drug manufacturers who could be the first to receive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency authorization for a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, have declined President Donald Trump's invitation to the White House Vaccine Summit.
According to Stat News, two inside sources familiar with planning for the event have confirmed both manufacturers' decisions. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bance and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla were invited to the summit but it has been confirmed that neither they nor any other executives from either company will attend the event.
A spokesperson for Moderna released a statement, insisting the company "was contacted by OWS to be part of a meeting at the White House concerning COVID-19 vaccine plans and indicated its willingness to participate. Subsequently, Moderna learned that, based on the meeting's agenda, its participation would not be required."
]The White House Vaccine Summit is scheduled to take place just two days before the FDA advisory committee conducts its review and examination of vaccine data submitted by Pfizer. The event is also being seen as a means of pressuring the FDA to commit to expedited authorization of the vaccine as the Trump administration pushes to take credit for the swift development and production of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Although this vaccine process has already defied norms, FDA commissioner, Stephen Hahn, has been summoned to the White House on two different occasions amid pressure from the president due to what he views as a "slower-than-desired timetable for issuing emergency use authorizations for Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines," Axios reported.
The drug manufacturers' decision to forego attending the Vaccine Summit comes amid the Trump administration's public discourse with Pfizer for its involvement in Operation Warp Speed and the expedited timeline for the vaccine release.
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