WASHINGTON, D.C. — The White House announced today it will donate sixty million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine to other countries, once the vaccine clears FDA safety protocols. Earlier this month, Public Citizen and more than 60 U.S. groups called on President Joe Biden to launch a global vaccine manufacturing program to end the pandemic and build vaccine infrastructure for the future. Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program, issued the following statement:
“Sixty million doses amount to several drops in the bucket compared to global need. Low- and middle-income countries will need 8 billion doses to achieve 80% herd immunity through vaccination. If the U.S. were to ship all 60 million doses to India today, it would be enough to vaccinate just 2% of India’s population.
“Communities around the world have no idea when, or if, the vaccine they desperately need to protect their people from death and further suffering from the coronavirus will arrive.
“It is critically important that the Biden administration thinks beyond U.S. borders, to prevent catastrophic economic damage and the rise of coronavirus variants at home and abroad. Today’s announcement certainly is a welcome and positive step in that regard. But dose donations are no substitute for a plan to end the pandemic.
“The world is in dire need of such a plan from leaders including President Biden. The U.S. government urgently should launch a program to make 8 billion additional covid vaccine doses within a year’s time, share vaccine recipes with the world and end the pandemic.”