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Joe Biden said at an ABC town hall Thursday night that he would take a potential coronavirus vaccine if one became available by the end of the year "if the body of scientists" says it's ready.

Why it matters: Biden and others have expressed fears that the Trump administration has politicized the coronavirus response and is seeking rapid approval and distribution of a vaccine.

Biden also said he would be open to making a safe vaccine mandatory depending on its efficacy, how much the virus is spreading and "when it comes out and how it's being distributed."

  • But he acknowledged that as president, he wouldn't be able to enforce such a mandate. "That's the problem," Biden said. "You can't say, 'Everyone has to do this.'"
  • Instead, he said he would encourage governors and local officials to tell their constituents to get the vaccine.

What he's saying: "The point is that if the scientists, if the body of scientists say that this is what is ready to be done and it's been tested, they've gone through the three phases, yes, I would take it and I'd encourage people to take it."

  • Biden said he meets with leading scientists several times a week to be briefed on the potential vaccine: "They're not there yet. And most scientists say, it's not likely to have a vaccine that would be available until the beginning of next year, into the spring of next year."

Go deeper ... Biden: "I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump"

Go deeper

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker
15 mins ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Rising rates may hammer the stock market

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Stocks are much more vulnerable to interest rate swings than they used to be.

Why it matters: A sharp rise in rates in early 2022 is the key reason the stock market is off to an ugly start. And with the Federal Reserve making noise about trying to keep inflation in check, rates could go higher.