Published: Tue, April 27, 2021
Economy | By

Biden admin urged to send 30 million United States vaccine stockpiles to India

Biden admin urged to send 30 million United States vaccine stockpiles to India

AZ also said that it is "making progress" with addressing the technical challenges in its vaccine manufacturing processes.

"Right now we have zero doses available of AstraZeneca", Psaki said, noting that USA regulators still need to review the quality of those already produced.

As announced by the White House earlier today, the United States will begin sharing up to 60 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses with the world after the federal safety review. She said about 10 million doses could be released "in the coming weeks" if the F.D.A. determines that the vaccine meets "our own bar and our own guidelines", and that another 50 million doses are in various stages of production. Modi did not make a specific request for vaccines when he spoke with Biden, according to senior administration officials.

The US is in a comfortable position with 200 million - or almost two-thirds of its population - having received at least one dose of a vaccine.

Earlier Monday, Health Canada said it would update the product labelling on the J&J vaccine to inform Canadians about the signs and symptoms of possible side effects.

Following a FDA quality review, there could be 10 million available in the coming weeks, but it will likely be May or June before closer to 60 million are finished.

According to a diplomatic source, India had not made a request for vaccines until the last week.

The US, on Sunday, agreed to export raw materials to India that are critical for the production of vaccines, thereby giving India an exception under the Defence Production Act, 1950 (DPA), due to which the raw material firms delayed their exports. Psaki would not say on Monday whether the USA would distribute its additional trove of AstraZeneca vaccines to the global community on a loan or gifted basis.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, cautioned at a news conference that the donations of doses would not happen right away.

About 10 million of the doses are on hand but they are not ready for sending overseas as the FDA was still reviewing the plant where they were made, the official said. "So this is not immediate".

The U.S. has used wartime powers and contractual clauses to give its orders priority - meaning that there are, as of now, no known U.S. -made doses that have gone to any buyer other than the U.S. government.

"The United States has been one of the largest providers of assistance to address the COVID pandemic around the world, including to India ..."

A spokesperson for AstraZeneca said the company could not comment on specific details of the distribution plan, but underscored that the doses "are part of AstraZeneca's supply commitments to the USA government".

Uganda has received 964,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the only one available in the country. "Global pandemics require global cooperation".

"The US clearly made a mistake by not stepping up to indicate and actually provide support as soon as the crisis began". This is still a relatively new administration and I think many things are yet to fall in place... Hospitals have run out of supplies, family members are desperately driving from clinic to clinic in search of a spare bed for their loved ones, and mass cremations are a daily occurrence, as hundreds of thousands more people are infected with Covid-19 each day. While vaccine doses were not included, the sending a supply of remdesivir, an anti-viral drug used to treat hospitalized Covid-19 patients, a senior administration official said.

"The administration may also have been anxious initially that it may come under domestic criticism, especially from the more hawkish "America First" elements..." "So there is a tremendous amount of domestic compulsion as well".

Meera Shankar, also a former Indian envoy to Washington, said while the response from the United States can be seen as a delay, India also lacked preparedness and "declared victory over Covid when the numbers were still relatively higher".

She added: "There were glaring gaps in our own preparedness".

'We have sufficient supply of vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to accomodate our needs in the U.S'.

India's coronavirus death toll neared the bleak milestone of 200,000 with another 2 771 fatalities reported on Tuesday, while its armed forces pledged urgent medical aid to help battle the staggering spike in infections. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

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