We cannot vaccinate the world through donations alone
The Biden administration today announced a plan to buy 500 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to donate globally. The US will donate 200 million doses this year and 300 million during the first half of 2022. The doses – enough to vaccinate 250 million people worldwide – will be distributed through COVAX, the global initiative aimed at distributing COVID vaccines. 19 based on population health needs.
Dr. Carrie Teicher, director of programs for MSF USA, issued the following statement:
“This is great news for people around the world who desperately need these vaccines – especially the frontline workers who have been responding to COVID-19 for over a year and first faced a shortage of PPE and now can’t have it. access to vaccines. As new waves of disease and coronavirus variants set in, the US government’s global vaccine schedule is not urgent enough. Hundreds of millions of people do not have a year to wait for these vaccines. It is incomprehensible that millions of people die waiting for vaccines just because of where they live. The US and other world leaders have the wherewithal to help end this pandemic now, not a few years from now.
Sharing vaccine doses is the fastest way to save lives right now, but we cannot vaccinate the world through donations alone, nor will donations resolve the underlying systemic failures that led to this dire situation of vaccine inequity. To reach the finish line, the US needs to help dramatically increase the production of mRNA vaccines worldwide and support efforts to eliminate intellectual property barriers on all COVID-19 products. The US government must ensure that pharmaceutical companies share the technology and know-how for mRNA vaccines that have been extensively developed with public funding, so that many more manufacturers around the world can produce these life-saving vaccines.
We need an urgent one, bold plan of global action now.
Today’s commitments for 500 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for the COVAX facility represent an important but long-awaited step on the path toward global vaccine equity. COVAX and the countries it supports were last in line when it comes to securing vaccine doses, a situation that will prolong this pandemic for all of us.
If today’s appointments are to represent a step towards the sequel, then the accumulation of vaccines must also end.: We call on the United States, and all governments that have vaccinated more than 20 percent of its populations, to immediately allocate their remaining doses to COVAX in order to prevent further illness and death. Countries hit by successive waves of this deadly pandemic cannot wait to receive these vaccines. Every day that passes is another missed opportunity to protect millions of lives.
Donations from the United States and other rich countries are needed now, but this is only a short-term solution. The US has the opportunity to regain its position as a global leader in public health and work with countries to ensure they have the technical capacity to produce the vaccines their populations need in the future.”