Biden soaks in US vaccine supply and sends 20 million doses abroad

Washington-President Biden notes widespread calls to strengthen response to pandemic surges abroad, and on Monday his administration will send 20 million federal-approved coronavirus vaccines abroad in June. Said. May be used in the United States.

The donation is another step towards what Biden has promised to be a “whole new effort” to increase vaccine supply and significantly expand manufacturing capacity, most of which will take place in the United States. .. He also entrusted the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, Jeffrey Seiens, with the development of a global strategy.

“The United States will never be completely safe until the global pandemic is subdued,” Biden said in a short appearance at the White House. “There is neither a sea wide enough to keep us safe, nor a wall high enough.”

With rising immunization rates in the United States, new cases and deaths have plummeted, and the epicenter of the crisis has moved to India and other countries.A growing bipartisan chorus of diplomats, health professionals and business leaders Encourage the president to do more To end what AIDS activist Asia Russell calls “vaccine apartheid.”

Biden said Monday that 20 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson vaccines (all approved for domestic use) will be sent abroad. This was added to the 60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine he promised last month, but these doses are not approved for domestic use and cannot be released until regulators consider it safe. ..

“He made a direct donation above the threshold,” said J. Stephen Morrison, a global health expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, working with three other medical institutions to increase vaccine supply on Monday. Announced the plan. “It’s an important change.”

International health activists want much more.

“Donating 80 million doses of vaccine without planning to expand production around the world is like sticking a plaster on a machete wound,” said long-time AIDS activist Greg Gonzalves.

Biden said that these 80 million doses are five times the number donated by other countries, and that the United States will take the lead in helping the world defeat the coronavirus. He said it was an opportunity to reaffirm his authority. And unlike Russia and China, which have sought to use vaccines as a means of diplomacy, the United States would not expect any benefit in return, the president said.

“We want to lead the world in our values ​​with this demonstration of our innovation, ingenuity, and the fundamental dignity of Americans,” Biden said. “As in World War II, the United States was a democratic arsenal. In the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, our country becomes a arsenal of vaccines in other parts of the world. Probably. “

Mr. Biden’s announcement will be at a press conference at the World Health Organization, where Director Tedros Adhanom Gebreez will endanger the coronavirus and the rest of the world.

“”There is a huge cutting growing Some of the countries with the highest vaccination rates seem to have the idea that the pandemic is over, while others are experiencing a huge wave of infections, “says Dr. Tedros.

Variants like B.1.617First discovered in India and recently designated Variants of concern by WHOMany researchers are worried, contributing to the spread of the infection.

Dr. Tedros urges well-supplied countries to send more vaccine allocations to more devastated countries, and vaccine developers and manufacturers to expedite the delivery of hundreds of millions of vaccines. I did. Covax, An international initiative dedicated to the equitable distribution of vaccines, and pays attention to the complaint by UNICEF Secretary-General Henrietta Fore.

Biden vowed to revive the United States as a world public health leader and took some steps to do so. Rejoin the World Health Organization Pledge $ 4 billion We will provide international vaccine efforts and financial support to help Indian vaccine maker Biological E produce at least one billion doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2022.

To further expand supply Biden recently announced He supports Abandon intellectual property protection for Coronavirus vaccine.. But activists say it’s not enough to simply support the exemption. Mr Biden argues that pharmaceutical companies must create conditions for the transfer of their intellectual property to foreign vaccine makers. They see his efforts as fragmentary.

“We’ve been in power for 100 days. What Biden has to offer is a plan for a global fight against vaccine apartheid. Today’s announcement is a sticky note line,” Russell added. .. A US-led global strategy based on technology transfer, forcing pharmaceutical companies to come to the table to share recipes. “

The pharmaceutical industry opposes waiving an agreement on the trade-related aspect of intellectual property rights known as TRIPS.Vaccine maker Claim that the fix is ​​already at hand They are aggressively expanding their production lines and contracting with counterparts around the world to produce billions of additional doses.

An open letter to the president released last week by a bipartisan group, including business leaders, diplomats and the former Secretary of Defense, claimed that such exemptions “make little difference and can be harmful.”

Global health activists strongly support the exemption, but some have said they welcome the views of the business community. They see clear similarities to their work in fighting the global AIDS epidemic.

“This shows the unprecedented willingness of private sector pharmaceutical companies and their allies to admit that we all have been saying for months. The private sector alone has access to global vaccines. We cannot guarantee that a nonprofit organization aimed at ensuring universal access to HIV prevention and treatment wrote in an email on Sunday: “It really shifts the burden to the Byden administration.” He added.

Hank Greenberg, chairman of Star Companies, the organizer of the open letter, and former chairman of the insurance industry giant American International Group, said in an interview Monday that Biden’s announcement wasn’t well underway. Said.

World War II veteran Greenberg, 96, said the former CEO of an AIG subsidiary, who later became an ambassador from the Philippines to the United States, was unable to get vaccinated. He said he was prompted to write. Like Mr Biden, he used words that evoke war effort.

“Who would do it if we didn’t do it?” He asked.

Biden soaks in US vaccine supply and sends 20 million doses abroad

Source link Biden soaks in US vaccine supply and sends 20 million doses abroad

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