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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

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

J&J says its one-shot vaccine is 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID

Photo: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease in Phase 3 trials, which was comprised of nearly 44,000 participants across eight countries.

Between the lines: The vaccine was 72% effective in the U.S., but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has been spreading. It prevented 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the company.

Updated 21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Americans shrug off Omicron, Axios-Ipsos poll finds — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise."
  2. Vaccines: Omicron gives a shot to boosters — U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down.
  3. States: Gov. Hochul will order some NY hospitals to halt elective surgeries — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers.
  4. World: EU drug regulator backs mixing COVID vaccines — Poor global equity likely in COVID pill access — CDC raises travel advisories for France, Portugal to highest level amid COVID surge.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.