Some activists say Biden's new vaccine donation plan is not enough.

When President Biden announced in June that the United States would buy 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for...


When President Biden announced in June that the United States would buy 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for the poorest countries, there was a gaping hole in his plan: to fund it, the the administration has quietly embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars which had already been promised to countries for helping to put bullets in people’s arms.

Mr. Biden didn’t make the same mistake a second time.

His announcement on Wednesday that the United States was donating an additional 500 million doses of Pfizer came with a pledge of an additional $ 750 million for vaccine distribution, about half of which was through a charity organization. nonprofit involved in global vaccinations. This reflected a growing awareness on the part of world leaders that transforming vaccines into real vaccines represents one of the most important challenges of this phase of the pandemic.

Even so, the Biden administration’s schedule for shipping the newly announced Pfizer doses has frustrated campaigners: Of the 1.1 billion doses the United States has pledged to donate, only 300 million are expected to be donated. shipped this year. The longer the virus circulates around the world, the more dangerous it can become, even for people vaccinated in wealthy countries, scientists have warned.

“Buying doses for a donation next year is useful, but it does not significantly increase the global supply and it is not fair,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of the access program. drugs from Public Citizen, an advocacy organization.

Some experts have argued for more aggressive action by Mr Biden to lobby US vaccine makers to share their formulas with nations in desperate need of more hits.

“Where’s the monthly schedule for what each rich country is going to deliver?” Said Kate Elder, senior vaccine policy advisor for Doctors Without Borders’ access campaign. She added: “Where are the announcements regarding the response to appeals from regions and middle-income countries begging to be self-sufficient?”

It was not immediately clear how the administration planned to allocate the new funds for vaccine distributions. Some countries find it difficult to train and pay for vaccinators and to transport doses. Pfizer’s doses present particularly significant challenges: they must be stored at ultra-low temperatures, requiring the installation of freezers and, in many cases, back-up generators.

At the start of this year, supply shortages were the most pressing issue for global vaccinations. Rich countries had rushed to get doses while slowly pledging money and supplies to Covax, the United Nations-backed program to immunize the world.

But as these manufacturing difficulties eased, various problems arose. One was the blatant inequality: more than 5.9 billion shots were fired worldwide, but mostly in the richest countries. Another was that poorer countries had found themselves without the money to move airport tarmac fire into people’s arms.

Although the Biden administration’s promises exceeded those of most Western countries, analysts said other wealthy countries are setting an extremely low bar.

And although countries have pledged to give more doses, they have been slow to follow through, with the World Health Organization claiming that only 15% of pledged donations have been delivered. WHO has set a goal of immunizing 40 percent of each country’s population this year, forcing rich countries to share doses much faster.

There remains a huge oversupply: Rich countries will have 1 billion more vaccines than they need by the end of 2021, even if they administer boosters, according to Airfinity, a scientific analysis company.

Global health officials have urged rich countries to ditch these supplies before they expire. Some countries have donated vaccines so close to their expiration date and in such small quantities that poorer countries have struggled to use them.

Some 11 billion doses are needed globally, and campaigners said on Wednesday the rich world’s response remained far too sketchy. New Pfizer doses purchased by the United States will be shipped via Covax from January.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Some activists say Biden's new vaccine donation plan is not enough.
Some activists say Biden's new vaccine donation plan is not enough.
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