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Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden campaign called on President Trump on Tuesday to answer three specific questions before releasing a coronavirus vaccine, while simultaneously warning that Trump may seek to short-circuit the scientific process for the sake of his re-election. 

Why it matters: After Trump accused Joe Biden and Kamala Harris of being anti-vaxxers yesterday, the Biden campaign is trying to establish firm standards on what would allay its fears that Trump isn't accelerating a vaccine for political reasons. 

  • "The concern is not about the vaccine. The concern is about the president interfering in the process, into the scientific process,” Dr. David Kessler, a former FDA commissioner and a Biden adviser, said on a conference call with reporters.
  • "Any vaccine must be a product of science and research," said Symone Sanders, a top Biden adviser.

The three vaccine standards advocated by the Biden campaign:

  • What criteria will be used to ensure that any vaccine meets the scientific standard of safety and efficacy.
  • Who will validate that those standards were met.
  • What is the plan to distribute the vaccine cost-free and safely.

The big picture: Trump has hinted that a vaccine could arrive before the election, raising concerns among Democrats that the vaccine either won’t be effective or won’t be trusted by large sections of the American public.

  • During an AFL-CIO virtual town hall yesterday, Biden told union members not to trust Trump on the vaccine.

Go deeper

Scoop: Vice President Pence to receive televised vaccine shot

Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: SOPA Images / Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence plans to receive his coronavirus vaccine shot on camera Friday morning at the White House to build "vaccine confidence" among the American people, according to an administration official with direct knowledge of the plans.

Driving the news: Details are still being worked out, but Pence wants the TV networks to carry the moment live in the morning, the source said, to maximize the audience for the vaccination.

Dec 17, 2020 - Health

Extra doses of Pfizer vaccine could expand U.S. supply

An infectious disease doctor in California receives the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday, Dec. 17. Photo: Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty

Pfizer vaccine vials contain extra doses that could boost America's supply by up to 40%, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Wednesday.

Driving the news: The U.S. has 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to inoculate 50 million people but declined to buy more doses earlier this year. The vaccine is first being administrated to frontline health care workers and nursing home residents and staff.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot — FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccines for 5-11 year olds — Moderna says vaccine shows strong immune response in kids
  2. Health: 96% of Tyson Foods employees vaccinated ahead of mandate deadline — U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers — Those who miss work without pay due to COVID also had food insecurity
  3. Politics: Alabama governor orders state agencies to fight federal vaccine mandate — Axios-Ipsos poll: Confidence in Biden COVID recovery tumbles — New York City police union files lawsuit against vaccine mandate.
  4. Education: Benefits of vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says — Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

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