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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The federal government released broad plans today aimed at distributing free COVID-19 vaccines within a day after an emergency use authorization or full approval is granted. That could happen by November but is more likely in January.

Local health departments received the new federal guidance Wednesday morning.

The documents give local health departments 30 days to submit plans for receiving and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine. So by Oct. 16, the feds want all the logistics in place.

There’s now a detailed playbook for Operation Warp Speed to quickly distribute a free COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is cleared within 24 hours.

Federal health agencies and the Defense Department delivered the sweeping plans to Congress Wednesday. That includes instructions for local agencies to have their distribution plans ready by mid-October.

“I’m glad to see that there is a plan being released. It’s in line with a lot of what we are been preparing for,” said Caryelle Lasher, with the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services.

Lasher says the federal plan calls for the vaccine distribution to start in January and be more widely available in mid-2021. But the first batches could be out sooner.

“I think there will be a vaccine that initially will be available sometime between November and December,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield.

“As soon as the vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective, we’ll be ready to distribute,” Lasher said.

The COVID-19 vaccine would be free and would be given in two doses 21 to 28 days apart. Because of limited initial supplies, it would first go to health and essential workers.

There is polling that shows a good number of Americans are concerned about safety and many are saying they are not going to get the vaccine.

“It concerns me. Vaccine hesitancy is a historical problem that we have in public health. Unfortunately, we lose a lot of community protection in a lack of participation,” Lasher said.

That community protection can’t be achieved unless about 70% of the country gets the vaccine.

Lasher says it’s unfortunate the vaccine has become politicized with timing so close to the election.

In terms of distribution, she says it will be similar to the drive-thru testing sites. Vaccines would be given in large, easily-accessible locations but a database has to be established to track the distribution.

News Source: cbslocal.com

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Trump Says He Has Approved TikTok Sale to Silicon Valley Tech Giant Oracle

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) — President Donald Trump said Saturday he has approved a deal between TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and Oracle, temporarily averting a ban on TikTok in U.S. app stores.

The Commerce Department confirmed in a statement Saturday evening that it would delay — by one week — restrictions that were originally to take effect on Sunday.

ByteDance will continue to be majority owner of TikTok under the agreement Trump said he approved, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Speaking to reporters, Trump said he approved the deal “in concept.”

“I have given the deal my blessing,” Trump said. “If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s okay, too.”

The deal will also include Wal-Mart, Trump said, adding that “the security will be 100 percent. They’ll be using separate clouds and very, very powerful security.”

Trump said the deal will also include a $5 billion fund for U.S. education, though he did not say which companies would be making the payment. Trump had previously expressed a desire for the companies to make a payment to the U.S. Treasury but was surprised when he was told such an arrangement would be illegal.

Trump’s blessing comes hours before restrictions from the Commerce Department were set to take effect that would remove TikTok from U.S. app stores, including those operated by Apple and Google. The White House declined to comment.

ByteDance will continue to be majority owner of TikTok under the agreement Trump said he approved, the person said.

That contradicts Trump’s claim to reporters on Saturday that TikTok would be “totally controlled” by Wal-Mart and Oracle, who will have up to a 20% share in TikTok, the person said.

TikTok confirmed in a statement that Oracle and Walmart will together hold up to a 20% share.

“As part of this proposal, Oracle will become our trusted technology provider, responsible for hosting all U.S. user data and securing associated computer systems to ensure US national security requirements are fully satisfied,” TikTok said. “We are currently working with Wal-Mart on a commercial partnership as well. Both companies will take part in a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round in which they can take up to a 20% cumulative stake in the company. We will also maintain and expand TikTok Global’s headquarters in the U.S., while bringing 25,000 jobs across the country.”

Trump also said that TikTok would be incorporated in Texas as a new company.

Oracle CEO Safra Catz said in a statement:

“As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” said Oracle CEO Safra Catz. “Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are a hundred percent confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world. This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”

Walmart said that it plans to take a 7.5% stake in the new company and that Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon would serve on its five-member board.

“We are excited about our potential investment in and commercial agreements with TikTok Global,” Wal-Mart said in a statement, adding it will also “enter into commercial agreements to provide our ecommerce, fulfillment, payments and other omnichannel services to TikTok Global.”

Speaking to reporters, Trump offered high praise to Walmart and Oracle executives, including Oracle chairman Larry Ellison, a close political ally.

“You have the combination of the Wal-Mart, that’s obvious and the high tech of Oracle and the genius of the two leaders of those companies, okay?” Trump said.

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