NIH did not respond to a request for comment.
Given the lack of vaccine supply, it is possible that NIH will order their staff to get vaccinated at local pharmacies, an NIH official told POLITICO.
The NIH was informed last week that it would not be included in federal vaccine allocations sent to agencies like the Centers for Disease Control, the official added. As a result, the NIH spent the week working with the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Hospital Association on its possible vaccine allocation.
“The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) allocates all vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna to hospitals in Maryland, as well as long-term care facilities,” said Bob Atlas, CEO of the hospital association, in a press release. “The NIH clinical center is located in Bethesda and the federal government has asked MDH to include this site in the allocation of vaccines for Maryland. “
Amy Goodwin, spokesperson for the hospital association, confirmed that the NIH was not among the initial batch of vaccine recipients. The hospital association has also been told not to expect any doses of the Moderna vaccine until the end of next week, pending approval of that vaccine, although the schedule may change, Goodwin said.
A growing number of government officials have received the Covid-19 vaccine, including Vice President Mike Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who publicly received vaccines on Friday. The White House told reporters last week that NIH officials and staff would be given priority, although an NIH official said on Friday that there was no real plan in place to ensure this would happen.
A Department of Health and Human Services official took issue with this characterization, saying Collins of the NIH was given the opportunity to work with federal officials earlier this week to ensure that the doses were assigned to his. agency, but without follow-up.
Fauci said Friday morning he was “ready to go” and keen to get the shot as soon as possible.
“I’m going to get the shot as soon as I can,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Today” show. “I hope it will be in the next few days early next week. “