The United States will share up to 60 million doses of AstraZenec’s COVID-19 vaccines with India and other countries, according to Biden administration officials.
The move comes on the heels of a call Monday morning between President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Our two countries have suffered terribly,” said a senior Biden administration official during an afternoon briefing about the decision to send oxygen, medicine and supplies to manufacture vaccines to India. “We remember India’s generosity towards us early in the pandemic.”
This announcement comes with about 1 in 3 cases of COVID-19 recorded daily Now in India. In April, the outbreak in India saw record numbers of cases swept hospitals and oxygen supplies. Around 2,500 deaths are reported daily there, and are widely seen as underestimated 5 to 10 times higher.
The Biden administration’s national security officials said the dramatic increase in the number of cases in India and the continuing epidemic elsewhere justified the release of doses of US supplies of bullets. Other vaccine supplies are expected to provide vaccines for every adult in the United States by June.
AstraZeneca vaccine is approved in India but is still awaiting FDA approval in the United States. The company did not even submit a formal request for this authorization. Safety Review These shots will be performed by the Food and Drug Administration before they are shipped. Ten million doses are currently available, and another 50 million are in production. The United States previously loaned 4 million rounds from AstraZeneca to Mexico and Canada.
“In short, this is good news but it is long overdue,” said Lawrence Gustin of Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. “However, what we’re seeing are two classes of vaccines – one for the developed world and one for the poor. AstraZeneca is not licensed in the US, so it can be donated. Hoarding highly effective vaccines Such as mRNA vaccines. I hope the United States will start donating doses of all of its vaccine stocks. It is the morally right thing to do, but it is also in our interest. “
Administration officials said the United States will consider sharing more vaccines as the country increases supplies and immunizes the population.
Over the weekend, the European Union activated the Medicaid program to provide oxygen and medical supplies to India, while Singapore and Saudi Arabia sent oxygen as well. Russia also said it will transport medical aid to India. On Sunday, the White House announced that it was Send fans And protective equipment in India.
Peter Aldous contributed to this story.