NIH as of Friday had yet to receive a single shipment of the vaccine, despite playing an instrumental role in developing the Moderna vaccine, which the Food and Drug Administration authorized for emergency use on Friday night. Other government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received a federal allocation of Pfizer’s vaccine last week, while NIH has spent days negotiating with Maryland officials to receive a share of its allocation.
As a result, Fauci and other NIH scientists spent last week waiting for updates on when they’d get the vaccine, even as politicians like Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Lindsey Graham got their shots in public.
NIH and HHS did not immediately respond to requests for comment. But Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a press release Monday that the state would provide vaccine to “front-line clinical healthcare workers” at NIH. In addition to operating more than two dozen research institutes, the agency has a hospital devoted to clinical research.
“With our earliest vaccinations focused on high-risk populations, we are providing a limited number of doses to NIH in order to vaccinate these Maryland-based front line healthcare workers,” Hogan said. “I want to thank Dr. Collins, Dr. Fauci, and their teams for all they have done throughout this crisis to save lives.”