2021-04-27 22:23:18 The US Will Share COVID-19 Vaccines Worldwide

The US Will Share COVID-19 Vaccines Worldwide

According to Biden administration officials, the US will share up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccines with India and other countries.

The decision follows a phone call between President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday morning.

“Our two nations have suffered greatly,” a senior Biden administration official said during an afternoon background briefing on the decision to send oxygen, drugs, and supplies to India to manufacture vaccines. “We remember India’s generosity toward us early in the pandemic.”

The announcement comes as approximately one in every three COVID-19 cases recorded daily is now in India. In April, the number of cases in India’s outbreak reached an all-time high, straining hospitals and oxygen supplies. There are now about 2,500 deaths reported there every day, which is widely regarded as an undercount that is 5 to 10 times higher.

National security officials in the Biden administration said the surge in cases in India, as well as the ongoing pandemic elsewhere, justified releasing the doses from the US’s stockpile of the shots. Other vaccine supplies are expected to be sufficient to provide shots to every adult in the United States by June.

An AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved in India but is still awaiting FDA approval in the United States. This authorization has not even been formally requested by the company. The FDA will conduct a safety review of those shots before they are shipped. Ten million doses are currently available, with another 50 million on the way. Previously, the United States loaned 4 million AstraZeneca shots to Mexico and Canada.

“In short, this is good news but long overdue,” said Lawrence Gostin of Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. “However, we are seeing two types of vaccines: one for the developed world and one for the developing world. Because AstraZeneca is not authorized in the United States, it can be donated. However, the United States is stockpiling highly effective vaccines such as mRNA vaccines. I hope that the United States will start donating doses of all of its vaccine stock. It is not only the ethical thing to do, but it is also in our best interests.”

According to administration officials, the United States will consider sharing more vaccines as the country’s supplies grow and the population is immunized.

The European Union activated its medical assistance program over the weekend to offer India oxygen and medical supplies, while Singapore and Saudi Arabia also sent oxygen. Russia has also stated that it will fly medical supplies to India. On Sunday, the White House announced that it was sending ventilators and protective equipment to India.

This story was reported by Peter Aldhous.

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The US Will Share COVID-19 Vaccines Worldwide