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President Trump during the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit on Dec. 8. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Sunday night that he's stopped an administration directive to give White House staff the COVID-19 vaccine as a priority, but he will get inoculated against the virus "at the appropriate time."

Why it matters: NIAID director Anthony Fauci says 75%–80% of Americans need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus to achieve herd immunity. Vaccine adoption is a matter of trust, and trust in most institutions has hit generational lows.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that vaccine skepticism was a "source of great concern for all of us," as he urged people to "disregard all those terrible conspiracy theories."
  • National Security Council spokesperson John Ullyot cited vaccine safety perceptions as a reason in his announcement Sunday that U.S. officials across the country's three branches of government had been given top priority for inoculation.

Of note: President-elect Joe Biden said before the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine he would get inoculated once it was deemed safe.

The big picture: The first batch of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines left Michigan earlier Sunday.

  • There are a limited number of the vaccines in production, and the CDC recommends priority is given to the highest-risk groups, including health care workers and long-term care facility residents.

By the numbers: Cases and deaths from the virus are continuing to soar across the U.S. Nearly 300,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and almost 16.3 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins.

Go deeper: Middle America is still racking up a ton of new coronavirus cases

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
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.