Biden administration officials said the United States will share up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine with India and other countries.
The move was made after President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Monday morning.
“Our two countries have suffered huge losses,” a senior official of the Biden administration said at a background briefing in the afternoon, deciding to send oxygen, medicines and supplies for vaccine production to India. “We remember India’s generosity to us at the beginning of the pandemic.”
At the time of the announcement, about 1 out of every 3 COVID-19 cases recorded every day was Now in indiaIn April, the number of cases in India hit a record high, and hospitals and oxygen supply were overwhelmed. According to reports, about 2,500 people die there every day, and it is widely believed that this number is underestimated. 5 to 10 times higher.
National security officials in the Biden administration said that the surge in cases in India and the continued epidemic elsewhere justify the release of doses from vaccines supplied by the United States. It is expected that by June, the availability of other vaccines will enable every American adult to be vaccinated.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved in India, but it is still awaiting FDA approval in the United States. The company has not even formally applied for this authorization. Security review Some of these lenses will be processed by the FDA before shipment. There are currently 10 million doses available, and another 50 million doses are in production. The United States had previously loaned 4 million AstraZeneca injections to Mexico and Canada.
Lawrence Gostin of the O’Neill Institute of National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University said: “In short, this is good news, but it should have appeared long ago.” “However, what we see are two types of vaccines-one. One is for developed countries and the other is for the poor. AstraZeneca has not been authorized in the United States, so it can donate. But the United States Hoarding highly effective vaccines Such as mRNA vaccines. I hope that the United States will start donating all its vaccine stocks. This is morally correct, but it is also in our interest. “
Government officials said that as the country’s supply increases and the population is immunized, the United States will consider sharing more vaccines.
Last weekend, the European Union launched a medical assistance program to provide oxygen and medical supplies to India, while Singapore and Saudi Arabia also provided oxygen. Russia also said it will provide medical assistance to India. The White House announced on Sunday, Send ventilator And protective equipment to India.
Peter Aldhous reported on this story.