Under the new initiative, the government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency is looking for a pharmaceutical company with proven capabilities to produce more effective mRNA vaccines to bid on US investment in manufacturing scale-up. doing. Pfizer and Moderna make two US-approved mRNA shots.
The White House hopes this move will build the capacity to produce an additional billion shots annually.
This initiative begins with the Biden White House facing increasing pressure at home and abroad over global vaccine supply inequality. The United States is moving towards approval of booster shots for all adults, and vulnerable people in poor countries are waiting for their first vaccination.
According to an analysis by the international aid and advocacy organization ONE Campaign, only 4.7% of people living in low-income countries receive initial doses. Wealthy countries received more than 173 million booster shots, and low-income countries received about 32 million first shots.
The Biden administration has increased the capacity of COVID-19 shots to mitigate global dose shortages, especially in low- and middle-income countries, prevent preventable death, and potentially newer, more dangerous mutations in the virus. I think it limits the development of the body.
Jeff Zyentz, COVID-19 Coordinator of the White House, said:
On Wednesday, Zients announced that the United States had donated 250 million COVID-19 vaccines worldwide with the goal of sharing more than 1.1 billion shots by the end of 2022.
There is still no firm agreement with Moderna or Pfizer to buy the United States for investment, but the Biden administration will have more by mid-2022 by strengthening its manufacturing capacity through the support of the company’s facilities, equipment, staff, or training. I hope it will be possible. The dose of COVID-19 will be shared abroad to help prepare for the next public health emergency.
Government proves to be more effective in preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19 than the Johnson & Johnson viral vector vaccine, which uses a harmless virus that carries genetic material to stimulate the immune system. Priority is given to the mRNA vaccine that has been used. Pfizer and Modana vaccines are made with a genetic code called messenger RNA. This code is trained to recognize the virus because it tells the body to make a harmless copy of the spike protein.
Robbie Silverman, senior advocacy manager at Oxfam America, welcomed Biden’s plans to invest in vaccine production capabilities, but said that wasn’t enough.
“What the world really needs is the diversification of the regional production capacity of vaccines, and this investment seems to be focused on building the capacity of the United States,” he said. “We are in desperate need of a company that monopolizes the COVID vaccine to transfer technology, and the US government needs to use that leverage.”
Silberman estimates that if a company does not transfer knowledge about how to make a COVID-19 vaccine, it will take twice as long as manufacturers elsewhere to start administration, what to do with other illnesses. He pointed out that billions of vaccines are routinely manufactured in developing countries.
Silberman said more provisions on vaccine equity should have been negotiated when the United States secured its own supply, but it was never too late to act. He said the United States should uphold the proposed exemption drafted by India and South Africa at the World Trade Organization and called for the suspension of patents on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. He said the United States could implement the Defense Production Act to target key components of COVID-19 shots.
“The US government has many tools at its disposal to promote pharmaceutical companies,” he said, investing billions of dollars in the creation of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. “The United States needs to make sure that these funded companies prioritize public health over profit.”
Ava Alkon, senior policy and research director for Doctors Without Borders, said the billion doses that could be produced by US investment are still far from the numbers needed to immunize the world. The World Health Organization estimates that 11 billion doses will be required.
Archon said the new drafter of COVID-19 administration would not be able to supply it for several months and would need a quicker solution. “We believe we can distribute far more doses than the United States currently has on an ongoing basis,” she says, making the United States more transparent about the number of additional doses it has. I asked to be. She said some estimates suggest that the United States could have at least 500 million surplus vaccines by the end of the year.
The New York Times first reported on the new initiative.
Contributed by Maria Cheng, an AP writer in London.
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