The US to Share Up To 60 million Astrazeneca Vaccine Doses

The US is ready to share up to 60 million doses of its AstraZeneca vaccine with other countries as they become accessible, the White House has said.

After a federal safety review, the doses will available for exportation in the coming months.

The US has a collection of the vaccine even though its regulators have not yet allowed it for public use.

Critics have blamed the government for storing the vaccine, while other countries largely need it.

President Joe Biden pledged to share about 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with Mexico and Canada – both of which have approved the jab last month.

The crisis in India has also piled pressure on the Biden administration to share US health resources.

On Monday, the White House said it anticipates that about 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine could be released when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finishes its review in the coming weeks.

According to the other, 50 million doses were in different stages of production.

At a news briefing, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said FDA officials would perform quality checks on doses before they were exported.

“Our team will share more details about our planning and who will be receiving offers from here, but we’re in the planning process at this point,” she added.

The US has already declared that it will supply raw materials for Indian vaccine manufacturers as the country battles a disastrous surge in cases.

In a “warm and positive” phone call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, President Biden promised more emergency assistance “including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials, and therapeutics”, a White House statement said.

Washington is also looking at supplying oxygen, Covid tests, personal protective equipment (PPE), and the antiviral drug remdesivir to India’s health service.

The FDA has so far authorized three vaccines against Covid- 19 – Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). Experts say it looks likely that these will provide all the country’s needs and the AstraZeneca jab may not be required.

As per the latest numbers, above 53% of adults have so far received at least one dose of vaccine.

 

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