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UPS employees move shipping containers of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at UPS Worldport in Louisville, Kentucky, on Dec. 13. Photo: Michael Clevenger - Pool/Getty Images

Coronavirus vaccinations for U.S. officials across the country's three branches of government have been given top priority, National Security Council spokesperson John Ullyot said in a statement on Sunday.

Why it matters: There are a limited number of COVID vaccines currently in production, and the CDC recommends that the highest-risk groups — health care workers and long-term care facility residents — should be first in line to get vaccinated.

Of note: Vaccinations for government officials could start as soon as Monday, Bloomberg reports. White House staff members had been informed that they were scheduled to receive injections soon, the New York Times first reported.

  • President Trump tweeted Sunday night that he had asked for an adjustment to the directive so White House staff "should receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary."
  • The White House did not immediately respond to Axios' request for clarification on Trump's tweet and the effect it would have on the plans, or whether only White House staff would be affected by this adjustment.

What they're saying: "Senior officials across all three branches of government will receive vaccinations pursuant to continuity of government protocols established in executive policy," Ullyot said earlier Sunday.

  • "The American people should have confidence that they are receiving the same safe and effective vaccine as senior officials of the United States government on the advice of public health professionals and national security leadership."
  • A senior administration official said that COVID vaccinations for U.S. officials are essential to allow the government to function.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Trump's announcement on Twitter.

Go deeper

Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategy

Biden signs executive orders on Jan. 21. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

"It's gonna get worse before it gets better": President Biden expects 100,000 Americans to die from COVID-19 during his first six weeks in office.

The big picture: Biden said he's putting America on a wartime footing against the virus, signing 10 executive orders today alone.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.
Jan 22, 2021 - Health

Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as coronavirus cases surge

Hong Kong health workers patrol a street where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed. Photo: Anthony Kwan via Getty Images

Hong Kong will place tens of thousands of residents on lockdown to curtail outbreaks in neighborhoods with aging, subdivided apartments, the government announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It’s the first time Hong Kong has imposed a lockdown since the pandemic began. The restrictions will begin Saturday and last for at least two weeks.