President Biden Takes 1st Tentative Steps to Address Global Covid-19 Vaccine Shortage

WASHINGTON – President Biden, under intense pressure to donate additional coronavirus virus vaccines to needy countries, partnered with Japan, India and Australia to expand global vaccine manufacturing capacity, to address global shortages in another way Went on Friday.

At the so-called Quad Summit, in a deal announced at a virtual meeting of leaders of four countries, the Biden administration is committed to providing financial support to help Biological E, a major vaccine manufacturer in India, at least 1 billion coronovirus supplements. Produces. Vaccines by the end of 2022.

That a vaccine shortage would be overcome in South-East Asia and beyond in the months ahead without risking domestic political trauma as Americans struggle for their shots.

America is far behind China, India And Russia Vaccines as an instrument of diplomacy in the race for Marsal Coronovirus. At the same time, Mr. Biden is facing allegations of vaccine hoarding from global health advocates who want his administration to provide channel supplies to needy countries that are desperate for access.

Urging that Americans come first, the president has so far refused to make any firm commitment to deliver US-made vaccines in the form of tens of millions of doses of the vaccine made by the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca. Sit Fully in American Manufacturing Facilities.

“If we have a surplus, we’re going to share it with the rest of the world,” Mr. Biden said this week, “We’re going to make sure that Americans start paying attention first, but then we Going to help the rest of the world.

In fact, the president has far ahead of him to do a good job domestically, He made promises In recent times: All states should make all adults eligible to be vaccinated by May 1, that by the end of May there will be enough vaccine doses available to vaccinate every American adult, and that by July 4, if Americans have Public health guidance continued to follow, life should return to normalcy.

Vaccine supplies appear to be on track to meet those goals, but the president must still build infrastructure to make up the dose and overcome reluctance in large areas of the population.

Nevertheless, Mr. Biden has also made his leadership the center of restoring the American leadership. Foreign policy agenda Allied up after his predecessor and strained relations with allies and global partners. Recently his Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said BBC interview A global vaccination campaign will be part of that effort; Washington, They said, Was “determined” to be an “international leader” on vaccination.

Foreign policy experts and global health workers see clear diplomatic, public health, and humanitarian reasons for doing so.

“It’s time for American leaders to ask themselves: When this epidemic is over, do we want the world to help America remember America’s leadership to deliver life-long vaccines, Or will we leave the others? ” Said Tom Hart, executive director of a campaign in North America, a non-profit organization founded by U2 singer Bono and dedicated to eradicating world poverty.

The group said the federal government had purchased an additional 453 million vaccine doses. It has called for the Biden administration to share its 5 percent dose abroad when 20 percent of Americans have been vaccinated, and to gradually increase the percentage of shared doses as more Americans receive their vaccines.

As of Friday, 13.5 percent of people in the United States who are 1.5 or older have been fully vaccinated, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The totalitarian governments of China and Russia, which are less affected by domestic public opinion, are already using vaccines to expand their sphere of influence. While the Biden administration plans its strategy to counter China’s growing global dominance, Beijing maintains its image by shipping vaccines to dozens of countries across Africa, Latin America, and especially dozens of countries across its Southeast Asian backyard. Is burning

Russia has supplied vaccines to Eastern European countries, including Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, at a time when Biden officials want to keep the European Union united against Russian influence on the continent.

Ivo H., a former NATO ambassador and president of the Global Council on Global Affairs. “We can get ahead of those who are more willing to share, even if they are doing it for creepy reasons,” said Dalder. “I think countries need to remember who was there for us when we needed them.”

With worrisome and highly contagious newer version Emerging in the United States and around the world, public health experts say that vaccinating people abroad is also necessary to protect Americans.

“It is to be sold to Americans as a necessary strategy to make Americans safe and secure long-term, and it has to be sold to a highly divided toxic US,” said J. Stephen Morrison, a global health expert. Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I don’t think it’s impossible. I think Americans are beginning to understand that in the world of variants, everything that happens outside of our borders is really urging us to move fast.”

Mr Blinken told the BBC: “Until everyone is vaccinated in the world, no one is really completely safe.”

The Quad Vaccine Partnership announced at the summit on Friday includes different commitments from each nation, According to the white house.

In addition to aid for the Indian vaccine manufacturer, the United States promised to increase vaccination capacity abroad to at least $ 100 million and aid public health efforts. Japan said it was “deliberating” to provide loans to the Indian government to expand manufacturing of vaccines for export and would assist in vaccination programs for developing countries. Australia will contribute $ 77 million to provide vaccines and delivery support, with a focus on Southeast Asia.

Four countries will also do oneQuad Vaccine Experts GroupTop scientists and government officials who will work to address manufacturing bottlenecks and financing schemes.

Mr Morrison said the administration was entitled to “some credit” for the effort, “showing diplomatic ingenuity and speed.” But a spokesman for One Campaign, which focuses on extreme poverty, said his group would still like to see a plan for the United States’ vaccine reserves and said that Africa has taken a lower dose per capita than Asia .

Mr. Biden’s efforts to increase vaccine production have put the US on track to make more than a billion doses by the end of the year – more than necessary to vaccinate about 260 million adults in the United States.

The administration will help to further the goal of a dose vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Merck Manufacturing Johnson & Johnson, which the president had celebrated at the White House on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, Mr. Biden instructed federal health officials Secure additional 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The administration has said that those efforts are aimed at providing adequate vaccines for children, new variants of booster doses, and coping with unforeseen events. But Jeffrey D. The Coronovirus Response Coordinator for Zeevers, Mr. Biden, told reporters on Friday that the deal between Johnson & Johnson and Merck would “help expand capacity and ultimately benefit the world.”

In addition to opposing a push to grant additional supplements, Mr Biden has criticized liberal Democrats by blocking India and South Africa’s request for a temporary pardon for an international intellectual property agreement that allows poorer countries to have generic versions. Will provide easy access. Coronovirus Vaccines and Treatment.

“I understand why we should prioritize our supply with Americans – it was paid by American taxpayers, President Biden is the president of the US,” said Rep. Ro Khanna, a liberal Democrat from California. “But there is no reason why we have to prioritize the profits of pharmaceutical companies over the dignity of the people of other countries.”

Mr. Biden made an announcement recently Donation of $ 4 billion to KovacsInternational vaccine initiative supported by the World Health Organization. David Bryden, director of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, a non-profit organization aimed at supporting health workers in low and middle-income countries, said that helping to train and to help those who operate vaccines abroad The workers were in dire need of money to pay.

But that donation, and Friday’s announcement of the Quad’s financial support for vaccine production, is still short of urgent calls by public health advocates for the United States to supply ready-made supplements.

The Quad’s focus on South-East Asia, however, most likely reflects an increased awareness of its gratitude to China in the region, which Beijing has focused its vaccine delivery efforts on.

If Mr. Biden is widely seen as helping the world recover from the coronavirus pandemic, it could become part of his legacy, when President George W. Bush Responded to the AIDS crisis in Africa in the 2000s with heavy investment of public health funding. More than a decade later, Mr. Bush and the United States chanted most of the continent for the President’s emergency plan for AIDS relief, or Pepfer, The government says it spent $ 85 billion and saved 20 million lives.

Michael Grassen, Mr. Bush’s former White House speechwriter and a policy adviser who helped formulate the Pepfer Program, said its impact was both ethical and strategic, and that the program gave the United States “tremendous desire for good will” The amount was earned. ” ” in Africa.

“I think the principle here should be that people who need it most should not get where they live,” he said. “It does not make much moral sense to deliver a healthy American 24-year-old vaccine before a border worker in Liberia.”

But, he said, “it is very difficult for an American politician to explain.”

Anna swanson Contributed to reporting

Source link

Leave a Comment