The United States is sending vaccine materials to India, which has been devastated by viruses


Washington – Biden administration, Under increasing pressure To tackle the devastating mutation of the Coronavirus in India, on Sunday it said it had partially lifted the ban on the export of raw materials for vaccines and would also provide India with treatments, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment.

“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were under stress early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to assist India in its time of need,” said Emily Horn, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council. on Sunday.

The announcement, a surprising turn of administration, came after Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, made a call earlier today with Ajit Duvall, his counterpart in India, and as the Indian government reported more than 349,000 new infections, the world record for the day. One. Ms. Horne said that the United States “has identified sources of certain urgently needed raw materials for Indian manufacture of the Coffeeshield vaccine,” the Indian-produced version of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The situation in India is dire. Perhaps the country will witness The worst crisis No country has suffered since the pandemic began, with hospitals crowded and desperate people dying in line to see doctors – and there is mounting evidence that the actual death toll is much higher than what has been officially reported. Officials say they are running out of supplies, including oxygen and protective gear, like the deadly new alternative Thought to be behind Increase in the number of cases.

Many Indians are frustrated that their country, the world’s largest producer of vaccines, is too late in its vaccination campaign. Less than 10 percent of Indians received a single dose, and only 1.6 percent received a full vaccination, according to A. New York Times Database Although India produces two vaccines on its soil.

However, even the terrifying pictures of hospitals are The orange flame is a mass cremation site Administration officials deployed around the world last week, pulling back as pressure mounts on the United States to expand its efforts to combat the boom in India. For Biden, the crisis in India amounts to a clash between the competing powers. The president took office and pledged to restore America’s stature as a leader in global health, having repeatedly said that the pandemic does not stop at the borders of a nation.

But he is also grappling with the legacy of his predecessor’s “America first” approach, and he must balance his instincts to help the world against the threat of a political backlash over the administration of vaccines before every American has a chance to get a shot. As of Sunday, 28.5 percent of Americans were completely vaccinated, and 42.2 percent had received at least one dose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We’ll start making sure to take care of the Americans first, but then we’ll try to help the rest of the world,” Mr. Biden said last monthAfter he committed financial support to help Biological E, a major vaccine manufacturer in India, produce at least 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines by the end of 2022.

But Biden’s commitments are only so far. India and South Africa have asked the World Trade Organization to temporarily waive an international intellectual property agreement that would give poor countries easier access to public releases of coronavirus vaccines and treatments. The administration is blocking this request.

“The Biden administration can still do more,” Representative Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, who was at the forefront of the temporary exemption demanders, said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr. Khanna also called on the United States to release doses of AstraZeneca vaccine – not approved for distribution in this country – to India, as it did in Canada and Mexico.

Tens of millions of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine are available Stored seating In the US, Mr. Biden said last week that he was considering sharing more. But the The vaccine was manufactured at the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore, where production took place Has been stopped Center Concerns about potential contamination.

“We’re looking at what we’re going to do with some vaccines that we’re not using,” the president said on Wednesday. “We have to make sure they are safe to be sent.”

The statement on Sunday did not mention the possibility of the United States sending vaccines directly to India. But in an ABC television “This Week” appearance on Sunday, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the leading infectious disease expert in the country, says the United States will consider sending some doses of AstraZeneca vaccine there.

“I don’t want to talk to you now for the sake of politics, but, I mean, this is something that will definitely be actively looked at,” said Dr. Fauci.

India is home to the Indian Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine maker. But vaccine production has lagged behind the needs of 1.3 billion people in India. Poonawala, CEO of the institute, moderated Biden appealed In mid-April via Twitter.

He wrote: “I humbly ask you to lift the ban on exports of raw materials from the United States so that vaccine production can increase.”

But the administration fought back until Sunday. On Thursday, he was asked why America It will not lift the ban“The United States is participating first and foremost in ambitious, effective and successful efforts to date to vaccinate the American people,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

The resistance has met with criticism from Indian politicians and health experts.

“By stockpiling vaccines and preventing the export of essential raw materials needed to produce vaccines, the United States is undermining the strategic partnership between India and the United States,” said Melind Deora, a politician from Mumbai, one of the worst-affected cities, He said on Twitter.

In addition to helping India with protective equipment and raw materials, Ms. Horne said Sunday that the United States will deploy a team of public health advisers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Geoffrey Gitelman New Delhi, contributed reporting Chris Cameron From Washington.

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