Biden broke promise to make US the global vaccine arsenal, experts say

Some manufacturers are falling behind. Novavax had manufacturing issues . Johnson & Johnson, which initially predicted one billion ...


Some manufacturers are falling behind. Novavax had manufacturing issues. Johnson & Johnson, which initially predicted one billion doses this year, achieved just over 103 million, Krellenstein said, citing data from science intelligence firm Airfinity. This is in part because its subcontractor, Emergent BioSolutions, ruined up to 15 million doses, which prompted the Food and Drug Administration to close its Baltimore plant for three months.

If 12 billion doses were indeed produced and distributed equitably by the end of the year, global needs could be met. But, wrote the Duke Institute, “those are two big ifs.”

Several other countries as well as the United States are already recommending booster injections, which will reduce the supply. And the virus is changing shape so quickly – the highly infectious Delta variant is now dominant worldwide – that vaccines developed last year may soon be obsolete, said Dr Richard Hatchett, chief executive of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which helps lead the international vaccination effort known as Covax.

In the short term, poor countries need doses, and Mr. Biden is right when he says the United States has donated more than any other country. The United States has already donated 115 million excess doses from the national supply and purchased 500 million doses from Pfizer and BioNTech to distribute through Covax. With the United States planning booster shots, an official said, there is no surplus at this time.

“Their financial contributions are huge – no other country has pledged as much as the United States,” said Dr Hatchett. But, he added, “that doesn’t mean they can’t and shouldn’t do more.”

Dr Hatchett said he would like to see a more nuanced discussion about the logistics of not only making vaccines for poor and middle-income countries, but also administering them. The New York Times recently reported that Covax had a hard time getting those projectiles into people’s arms. Unused doses go unused on airport tarmacs in poor countries that lack the money and ability to buy fuel to transport doses to clinics, to train people to give injections – and to persuade people to take them.

Mr Biden took his first steps to address the vaccine shortage in March, when the White House announced the Merck agreement as good as partnership with Japan, India and Australia aiming to increase manufacturing capacity. This included a pledge to help Biological E, an Indian manufacturer, produce one billion doses by the end of 2022.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden broke promise to make US the global vaccine arsenal, experts say
Biden broke promise to make US the global vaccine arsenal, experts say
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