WASHINGTON, D.C. — The White House announced today its plan for sharing 25 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with other nations, as well as its intent to support expanded vaccine manufacturing capacity for global use and stronger supply chains abroad. The White House also announced it would lift Defense Production Act ratings for several vaccines, which have slowed the production of vaccines abroad. Public Citizen and more than 60 U.S. groups have called on President Joe Biden to launch a global vaccine manufacturing program, and last week Public Citizen published a roadmap on how to produce eight billion doses of the mRNA vaccine in less than one year. Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program, issued the following statement:
“The donation of these few doses is welcome but deeply insufficient, and no substitute for a plan of scale and urgency to end the pandemic. The U.S. needs to do more, much more.
“The U.S. contribution to global vaccine access has been woefully inadequate to date. The White House should quickly specify ambitious global production targets and help lead the international community in support of vaccine manufacturing. Each day of delay means more lives lost.
“By lifting these domestic vaccine Defense Production Act ratings, the Biden administration is at least stepping out of the way of global scale-up. Now we need the Biden administration to use similar power to accelerate the provision of raw materials worldwide.
“The U.S. government should invest $25 billion in urgent public vaccine manufacturing at sites worldwide to make eight billion doses of mRNA vaccine within a year’s time and share those vaccine recipes with the world.”