President Biden, who has pledged to combat the coronavirus pandemic by making the USA the “arsenal of vaccines” for the world, is under increasing criticism from public health experts, global health advocates and even Democrats in Congress who say he’s nowhere close to fulfilling his promise.
Mr. Biden has both donated or pledged about 600 million vaccine doses to different international locations — a small fraction of the 11 billion that consultants say are wanted to sluggish the unfold of the virus worldwide. His administration has additionally taken steps to develop Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing in the USA and India, and is supporting manufacturing in South Africa and Senegal to develop entry to regionally produced vaccines in Africa.
However with the administration now recommending booster doses for vaccinated Americans beginning subsequent month, outraged public well being consultants and plenty of Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling on the president to maneuver extra aggressively to scale up international manufacturing. In an analysis published on Thursday, the AIDS advocacy group PrEP4All discovered that the administration had spent lower than 1 % of the cash that Congress appropriated for ramping up Covid-19 countermeasures on increasing vaccine manufacturing.
Congress put a complete of $16.05 billion within the American Rescue Plan this yr, in two separate tranches, that could possibly be used to obtain and manufacture remedies, vaccines and instruments for ending the pandemic. However PrEP4All discovered that every one instructed, the administration had spent $145 million — simply $12 million of it from the American Rescue Plan — to develop vaccine manufacturing.
The US has donated 115 million surplus doses, and has bought 500 million extra from Pfizer and BioNTech to be distributed by Covax, greater than some other nation. However that’s nonetheless a minute fraction of the 12 billion doses Duke College’s International Well being Innovation Heart predicts the world wants by the tip of 2021.
James Krellenstein, a founding father of PrEP4All and the creator of its report, stated “in the event that they don’t change course fairly quickly, the Biden administration goes to be remembered in phrases that the Reagan administration is remembered at this time in not coping with the AIDS disaster.”