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Biden lags behind in global vaccine sharing, cites local barriers


Although the Biden administration has announced that nearly 50 countries and entities will receive a portion of additional COVID-19 vaccine doses, the US has shipped fewer than 24 million doses to 10 recipient countries, according to an Associated Press tally. The White House says more will be sent in the coming days and stresses that Biden has done everything in his power to meet the commitment.

One country requires an act of its cabinet to approve vaccine donations, another requires inspectors to conduct their own safety checks on US doses, and still others require critical aspects of their vaccine distribution plans. is yet to be developed to ensure that the dosage reaches the people. before they go bad.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that as of Wednesday, all intended recipient countries had received formal US offers of a specific number and type of vaccine, and all legal from the US side. And the logistical barriers were removed. cleaned.

The White House declined to specify which countries are grappling with which local constraints, saying it is working with recipient countries on an individual basis to remove barriers to distribution.

“What we’ve found isn’t really a supply — we have a lot of supplements to share with the world — but it’s a very difficult logistical challenge,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week.

It took months for the US to get its domestic vaccination program running in full swing, and officials noted that Biden only shifted the focus of the nation’s COVID-19 response to a global vaccination campaign less than two months ago.

The 80 million doses are in the form of a down payment on a larger plan to buy and donate 500 million vaccine doses to the world next year. Officials said the plan, dependent on a purchase contract from Pfizer that will begin delivering doses in August, remains on track.

Last week the White House broadly outlined its plans for all 80 million doses, but it is not publicly releasing a list of how many and what types of vaccines each recipient will receive, as long as the dosages are along the way. Don’t be in

The US recipients so far are Colombia (2.5 million Johnson & Johnson doses), Bangladesh (2.5 million modern), Peru (2 million Pfizer), Pakistan (2.5 million modern), Honduras (1.5 million modern), Brazil (3 million J&J) . , South Korea (1 million J&J), Taiwan (2.5 million Modern), Canada (1 million Modern, 1.5 million AstraZeneca) and Mexico (1.35 million J&J, 2.5 million AstraZeneca). All told, this is enough vaccine to fully protect 15.9 million people.

Biden initially committed to providing other countries with all 60 million US-manufactured doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the US but is widely approved around the world. AstraZeneca supplements have been withheld for export by the Food and Drug Administration after a two-month safety review.

Given the decline in domestic demand for vaccine supplements, the Biden administration expects to be able to meet the full 80 million commitment without AstraZeneca doses, rather than from existing federal stockpiles of Pfizer, Moderna and J&J vaccines.

US-approved shots – particularly mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna – appear to be more effective than other available vaccines against viruses, especially emerging strains of the virus that are more infectious and harmful, such as the delta variant. was first recognized in India.

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