Why doesn’t the United States share its extra doses of the vaccine with the rest of the world?
America led the world in buying RNA messenger vaccines that have proven to be the most effective against Covid-19. It is now leading the world in not using them.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 27 million unused shares of Moderna Inc. և 35 million from Pfizer Inc. և BioNTech SE. This led to calls from popular health voices calling for America to pack its excess ice dry and send it to places like India where the outbreak is still raging.
“You see the supply here exceeds the demand; you just know there are overdoses,” said Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who wrote a letter to more than two dozen colleagues urging the United States to will send Moderna spare parts to India.
As US vaccines slow down, doses accumulate, the United States is at a crossroads in health, ethics, and diplomacy. China exports more shares than any other country, raising its international rating and increasing its influence. Should the US continue to buy millions of mRNA vaccines a week, targeting people who are not in a hurry to get vaccinated or are at lower risk? Or should he take back his orders and release the pharmacists to other countries that need to send more doses?
Although it may seem that the parts are much more difficult to assemble and dispose of. There is no stock of tens of millions of Moderna doses in stock ready for use. Unused US doses are scattered in tens of thousands of places: government agencies, local pharmacies, vaccination sites, and more. Gathering them and sending them out of the country would be unmanageable, it would boost US internal efforts.
Pfizer is already shipping some US-made footage abroad. And there may be millions more unused doses from & onsons և and onsons և from AstraZeneca Plc for shipping in the coming weeks or months. The exact date is unknown.
But as the Biden administration pushes back on masked epidemic masks, in part to cover vaccinated fence seats, little is said about the US strategy of securing more supplies at home will soon change.
“When you win, you push harder,” Andy Slavit, senior adviser to the White House Covid Response team, told reporters this week. The US goal remains to vaccinate 70% of adults by July 4.
Two-dose mRNA vaccines have been shown to have the highest efficacy rates for purified worldwide use. They are also the most difficult to store for delivery, they are mostly bought by richer countries. They have become the vaccine of choice for Americans because of their perceived availability.
Pfizer footage has also been cleaned for people ages 12 to 15, which is important for their internal efforts to vaccinate teens. It may soon be allowed even for young children who are at relatively low risk of Covid, reducing what is available abroad to a more vulnerable population.
“If we were really interested in taking an ethical approach to vaccinations, we would vaccinate the most vulnerable people wherever they live, but that is not the political reality,” said Richard Besser, a former CDC pediatrician. “Each country is focused on protecting its own,” he said, adding that American children should be addressed first, said Besser, who is now executive director of the Robert Wood John Onson Foundation.
To understand how many extra shots the United States actually has, you need to understand how the vaccine supply chain actually works.
Moderna deliveries are controlled by the federal government. When the company completes the dosages, it is owned by distributor McKesson Corp., who maintains them and sends them to vaccination sites.
As of April 12, Moderna had delivered 117 million doses. It produces between 40 million and 50 million units a month, which means that as of this week it has shipped about 157 million to 167 million. According to the CDC, about 140 million of these doses have already been sent to vaccine sites in the states.
If another 10 million people order or transit, every week we are talking about ships, it leaves only 7 million to 17 million doses that have not been sent to vaccine sites across the country. The government contract with Moderna states that the government may not use or permit the use of its vaccine order “unless such use occurs in the United States; it is not protected from liability under the Emergency Response Declaration.” Biden would have to make a deal with Moderna or find a way around that point to share his shares.
McCheson declined to comment, and the US Department of Health and Human Services did not respond to requests for comment. A person familiar with the company’s efforts described the production ratings as consistent.
Pfizer, the only other US manufacturer of mRNA vaccines, controls its own distribution. The company is committed to supply 220 million units to the United States by the end of May. More than 170 million doses have already been shipped, and the pharmacist produces more than US orders each week.
The surplus, according to a person familiar with the case, is already being sold abroad, mainly in North and South America, including places like Brazil. Canada, Mexico և Uruguay have announced that they are receiving doses of Pfizer.
As its production capacity grows, Pfizer plans to sell even more overseas, said CEO Albert Burla. The Company’s deal with the United States does not require a permit after it has fulfilled its internal obligations. This route, which produces more doses than needed in the United States, is almost certainly a way to get more mRNA vaccines abroad.
Unfortunately, even if unused vaccines are shipped abroad, they are unlikely to be lost in need. The world needs billions of vaccines instead of millions, and now crisis areas could burn through their outbreaks before help arrives.
“The donation piece is a stop in many ways,” said Mitchell Warren, CEO of AVAC. Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention, which he also signed the letter urging to distribute Moderna doses. “This will be an initial supply to start emergency aid. It’s hardly a Band-Aid, but as we understand it, it is a product that is available կարող it can spread endlessly. ”
The next few weeks will be talking about US needs and what is possible for exports. Many states have updated their campaigns with incentives, such as cash lotteries for people who have not yet filmed. Colorado has demanded the maximum number of doses each week, according to the state Department of Health. Its vaccination rate has remained relatively stable at around 50,000 doses per day, according to Bloomberg Vaccine Research.
Other states are falling apart. Reaching its peak of nearly 600,000 doses in April, Illinois’s last request was just 8,510, according to the state. It also sends unused doses to areas where local demand is greater.
The Biden administration says it will ship about 60 million doses of AstraZeneca that have not been cleared for US use in the coming months. There are tens of millions of J&J vaccines that could be available, possibly after the end of the US campaign.
These are vaccines that the United States does not need or want. But they will probably give it.