And the president has pledged to donate up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine. However, these cans, which are also manufactured in the Emergent factory, are not approved for domestic use and may not be released in other countries until regulatory authorities deem them safe. If they weren't cleared for release, Mr. Biden would have to agree to donate more of the three vaccines used here in order to fulfill his 80 million pledge.
The president has described vaccine donations as part of an "entirely new effort" to increase vaccine supply and significantly expand manufacturing capacity, most of it in the United States. To further expand the offering, Mr. Biden recently announced that he would support the waiver of intellectual property protection for coronavirus vaccines. He also made Mr. Zients responsible for developing a global vaccine strategy.
However, activists say that simply donating overdoses and supporting renunciation is not enough. They argue that Mr Biden needs to create the conditions for pharmaceutical companies to transfer their intellectual property to vaccine manufacturers abroad so that other countries can set up their own vaccine manufacturing operations.
Peter Maybarduk, director of the Public Citizen's Access to Medicines program, on Thursday called on the government to invest $ 25 billion in "urgent public vaccine manufacturing in locations around the world" to generate eight billion vaccine doses within a year using mRNA To create and “share” technology. these vaccine prescriptions with the world. "
When asked recently whether the United States would be ready, Andrew Slavitt, a senior health advisor to the President, sidestepped the question, saying only that the United States would "play a leadership role" but still "global partners across the board." World ”. ”
On Thursday, Mr. Zients said the United States would repeal the Defense Production Act "priority assessment" for three vaccine manufacturers – AstraZeneca, Novavax and Sanofi – that do not make coronavirus vaccines for use in the United States. The shift means companies in the United States supplying vaccine manufacturers "can make their own decisions about which orders to fill first," Zients said.
This could free up supplies for foreign vaccine manufacturers and allow other countries to ramp up their own programs.
Abdi Latif Dahir contributed to the coverage.