US lawmaker urges Biden admin to immediately release AstraZeneca vaccine stockpile to India

US lawmaker urges Biden admin to immediately release AstraZeneca vaccine stockpile to India

Washington, May 4

Underlining that the US has “special obligations” in direction of India, an influential American lawmaker on Monday urged the Biden administration to immediately share the unused stockpile of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines with the nation, which is going through an unprecedented surge within the coronavirus instances.

Congressman Tom Malinowski additionally urged the federal government to activate all doable assets within the US, together with within the Defence Department, to rush the required oxygen era and storage instruments and ventilators to India.

India is battling a second wave of the pandemic with greater than 3,00,000 each day new coronavirus instances being reported up to now few days, and hospitals are reeling beneath a scarcity of medical oxygen and beds.

“I call on the administration to ensure that all of the WHO-approved AstraZeneca vaccines in our stockpiles (which the US will not use) are shared with India and other nations the moment that can safely be done,” Malinowski stated.

He additionally urged the federal government to speed up plans for sharing globally some share of the big surplus of vaccines that the US has produced or reserved for its inhabitants.

“This process,” the Congressman from New Jersey stated, “should begin now, and not wait until we have achieved herd immunity in the US.”    

Last week, US had stated it’ll distribute the 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses that’s with it. However, it has not taken a name on when these jabs can be distributed and when international locations like India would obtain them.

Urging sturdy US monetary help for world establishments, like COVAX, which might be making vaccines accessible to creating international locations, Malinowski stated from a public well being standpoint, that is probably the most truthful and goal means to be certain that vaccines get to those that want them most.

“But there is nothing wrong with engaging in ‘vaccine diplomacy’ on top of our generous support for COVAX,” he stated.

“President Biden rightly decided that he had a special responsibility to secure enough supply to vaccinate Americans before others; by the same token, the US can and should make a special effort to deliver surplus vaccine doses to friends and allies, including India, to whom we also have special obligations, and to facilitate the export of raw materials needed for vaccine production in these countries,” Malinowski stated.

“We have a public health interest in getting as many vaccines out as quickly as possible, and a historic opportunity to be the country that leads the world away from COVID. There is not a moment to be lost,” he stated.

Praising the Biden administration’s actions to start speeding medical provides to “our friends in India”, the Congressman hoped that the administration will announce new steps within the coming days to speed up the manufacturing and distribution of COVID vaccines world wide.

“The Indian people are facing a particularly painful surge of COVID-19 cases, and many are dying simply due to a lack oxygen, ventilators, and hospital capacity. It is clear that we have not only a moral obligation to come to the assistance of our Indian friends, but a national security interest in helping the world’s largest democracy recover from the pandemic before it becomes an incubator of new vaccine-resistant variants of the disease,” he stated.

According to Indian well being ministry information, single day rise of three,68,147 COVID-19 infections and three,417 fatalities pushed the nation’s tally of instances to 1,99,25,604 and demise toll to 2,18,959 on Monday. PTI



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