US President Joe Biden decided not to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to the citizens of his country. Several American scientists have said in recent weeks that the United States does not need AstraZeneca for their vaccination campaign.
The United States announced that it will share its full stock of AstraZeneca vaccines with other countries. Three weeks ago, Bloomberg reported that 20 million doses (out of a total of 80-90 million) had already been produced in the United States, pending FDA approval. According to the US authorities, 60 million doses will be shipped abroad.
About 10 million doses should be ready within a few weeks, as long as they pass the FDA’s quality control. “The next 50 million doses should be ready for shipment by May or June,” a US official said.
The United States is overwhelmed with vaccines
To justify its decision, the Biden administration used the same statement other scholars had previously made. The United States has more than enough doses of other vaccines to keep the vaccination campaign going at a good pace. So it’s not the bad reputation AstraZeneca has built in Europe that is driving the country to split from the company. The European Commission has since confirmed that it is taking legal action against AstraZeneca.
Given the robust combination of vaccines already licensed in the United States and already available in large quantities – including two two-dose and one single-dose vaccines – and given that AstraZeneca is not licensed for use in the United States, we don’t need to use AstraZeneca in our fight against COVID in the coming months, Said Jane Psaki, a spokeswoman for the White House.
AstraZeneca said in its response that it is up to the United States to decide what to do with the doses it receives.
India’s number one destination?
It has not been decided which countries the US will send to the 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. Everything indicates that India, where more than 300,000 people are infected every day, will be one of the main beneficiaries.
The Biden government has not yet confirmed this information. On the other hand, she has already indicated that she has contacted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for help in combating the domestic pandemic. The United States will send a number of commodities (respiratory equipment, medicinal products – including Remdesivir – and rapid test kits, and personal protective equipment) to India, as well as financial aid and raw materials to help the country speed up vaccine production. There is also talk of a shipment of oxygen production systems, with some areas in India suffering from hypoxia.
A senior US administration official said, “The aid program to India reflects Biden’s belief that the epidemic will not end unless the United States provides aid to other countries.”
If the United States sends vaccines to India, neighboring countries could react sharply, according to Bloomberg. Canada and Mexico, whose vaccination campaigns have been halted, are asking the United States to send the vaccines for several weeks. Aside from AstraZeneca’s 4.2 million previously dispatched vaccine – the only Covid-19 vaccines the United States has agreed to give up so far – countries have received a series of rejections.