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President-elect Joe Biden uses Defense Production Act for vaccines

President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic during an event at The Queen theater, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden will use the Defense Production Act to expand the production of the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination supplies as part of a wide-ranging plan to deliver on his pledge to vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days.

Biden’s first and perhaps biggest challenge in getting there will be addressing vaccine shortages in health systems across America. He’s long advocated for the use of the Defense Production Act, which gives the government authority to direct private companies to meet national defense needs.

President Donald Trump had invoked the Defense Production Act to address various aspects of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

His plan also includes proposals to create federally funded community vaccination centers, make the vaccination available in pharmacies and launch mobile clinics to get the shot to underserved communities. And he’ll expand the health care workforce so there are more people qualified to deliver the vaccine to Americans.