Pence sets Indiana trip to discuss coronavirus vaccine

("Mike Pence" by Gage Skidmore, CC BY SA 2.0)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has scheduled an Indiana trip to discuss coronavirus vaccines as federal officials are expected to soon authorize the first such vaccine for widespread use.

Pence’s office announced Friday that he would travel on Tuesday to Bloomington, where he will tour a vaccine production facility and lead a roundtable discussion about the vaccination campaign against the COVID-19 outbreak that has killed close to 300,000 Americans.

The former Indiana governor is making similar stops around the country. Pence said during a South Carolina event on Thursday that the government’s virus task force has “cut no corners in the development of this vaccine. We have cut red tape.”

An initial shipment of some 55,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive at Indiana hospitals next week as about 400,000 front-line health care workers start to receive shots.

The vaccinations will start as Indiana has seen steep increases in new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths in recent months.

Indiana health officials have recorded more than 6,600 deaths of people with confirmed or presumed coronavirus infections. The state’s seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths has reached 68 per day after that average fell below 10 a day during July.

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