BRUSSELS (AP) – Millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine are in cold storage in the United States and cannot be injected into the United States because they have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but the Biden administration has not yet allowed them to be sent abroad. to get enough doses for vulnerable populations.
The AstraZeneca two-dose vaccine has received urgent approval from the European Union համաշխարհային World Health Organization, but not in the United States. US partners are now asking President Joe Biden to cut off supplies, saying the administration has lined up enough of the three quotas. already approved vaccines that cover every American adult by the end of May and the entire US population by the end of July.
Ambassadors from EU member states discussed the challenge this week for AstraZeneca to reach US production quotas. The German government said on Friday it was in contact with US officials about the vaccine supply, but stressed that the European Commission was a leader in recruiting staff for member states.
Biden նախագահ European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen instructed the representatives to discuss the supply chains of vaccine production.
“I hope that on both sides of the Atlantic we will be able to ensure that sufficient doses of vaccines are distributed on time to complete vaccination campaigns,” said Eric Mammer, EU Commission Spokesman.
Asked if the EU executive had asked AstraZeneca to ship US doses of the vaccine to Europe, Mamer declined to give details of discussions with the company.
Although not approved in the United States, more than 10 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are stored in the country for domestic use and can not be exported under a company agreement with the federal government.
Drug manufacturers who received federal assistance in developing or expanding vaccine production were required to sell their first doses to the United States. In the case of AstraZeneca, whose vaccine was originally expected to be the first to receive a federal emergency permit, the US government ordered 300 million doses, enough for 150 million Americans, while clinical trials of the vaccine were approved in the United States.
As foreign regulators advanced the approval of the shot, the United States did not reject its contractual requirement for US-made initial doses.
The policy has been criticized, as have US neighbors Canada and Mexico, who have been forced to seek vaccines on other continents rather than across borders. It comes after the Biden administration acquired the doses of Moderna, Pfizer և Johnson & Johnson to vaccinate 150 million more people than its population by the end of the year.
The United States has also ordered 110 million doses of Novavax vaccine, which is expected to be submitted to emergency response next month.
“We want to supply a lot and be over-prepared,” White House spokesman En Psaki said on Wednesday, adding that Biden wanted unforeseen events in the event of unforeseen problems with the current production schedule.
“We do not yet know which vaccine will be most effective for children,” he added. “We do not yet know the impact of the options or the need for reinforcements. And these doses can be used as an amplifier as well as needed. “Obviously it is still being investigated by the FDA, but again we want to be extremely prepared.”
Putting pressure on the situation of AstraZeneca on Thursday, Psaki said: “In private, what we have publicly conveyed is that our focus is on vaccinating the American people.
Asked about the surplus on Wednesday, Biden told reporters that “if we have a surplus, we will share it with the rest of the world.”
“This is not something that can stop a fence, no matter how high a fence or wall you build. “So we will not be safe until the world is safe,” Biden said. “So we’re going to make sure Americans care first, but then try to help the rest of the world.”
The US trial of 30,000 people in AstraZeneca was completed by January. The company has not commented on when the preliminary results may be ready outside the executive branch. A statement from AstraZeneca to the US Congress last month said he expected it to be soon.
Against the backdrop of its own vaccine temptation, the EU seems to be increasingly abandoning the Biden administration while maintaining dose control.
Even if the 27-nation bloc wants to restore fruitful transatlantic relations after Trump’s presidency, EU-US cooperation is a thorny issue, with some in Europe calling it a continuation of former President Donald Trump. Trump’s “America First” approach.
The EU is at odds with AstraZeneca because the company is delivering far fewer shares to the bloc than promised. From an initial order of 80 million doses in the first quarter of this year, the EU will fight to increase that number to half.
Despite home shortages, often blamed for vaccine protectionism, 27 countries have allowed more than 34 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be exported in the past 27 weeks, including 953,723 shots in the United States.
At the same time, Russia and China, whose leaders do not face free and fair elections, have used their domestic strikes for strategic leverage.
China has pledged about half a billion doses of its vaccine to more than 45 countries, according to the Associated Press. Four of China’s many vaccine manufacturers claim to be able to produce at least 2.6 billion doses this year.
Russia has shipped millions of doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to countries around the world, even while vaccinating its own population. Analysts say the purpose of this vaccine diplomacy is to strengthen Russia’s image as a scientific, technological and philanthropic power, especially as other countries face a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines as richer countries seek alternatives to Western production.
Israel, which has vaccinated more than half of its population with European-made Pfizer vaccines, has also tried to use vaccine diplomacy to reward its allies.
Biden moved to allow the United States to make a financial contribution to the UN-backed COVAX, which will help share the vaccine with more than 90 low- and middle-income countries, but he has not yet agreed on a dose. ,
In Washington, Psaki said, “In terms of the supplies we buy, our first focus, our main focus, is to vaccinate the American people. That is what we have conveyed, publicly and secretly. “
The EU is embarrassed by the slow spread of vaccines, especially given that other countries, such as Britain, Israel and the United States, are far ahead of the bloc, even though the continent is a major hub for pharmaceutical companies.
Recent data from Our World in Data show that the EU has vaccinated 10% of its target population, while the US has covered 29% and the UK 35%.
Miller reported from Washington. Frank Jord Worman in Berlin և Laurent Nergord contributed to Washington.
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