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The COVAX Initiative Is Not Enough To Meet Global Vaccination Need

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Secretary of State-designate Tony Blinken announced that Biden would bring the U.S. into the COVAX initiative — a leading global COVID-19 vaccine initiative that aims to supply only a fraction of humanity — two billion doses, likely enough for one billion people — by the end of 2021. Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program, released the following statement:

“By joining the World Health Organization’s COVAX initiative, Biden is helping the U.S. rejoin the community of nations, at last.

“There is much more to be done in order to restore U.S. global leadership on the pandemic, however.

“There is not nearly enough vaccine to meet global need. The result will be that, even as rich countries finally vaccinate their populations, the pandemic will continue to rage in developing countries – for years.

“Incoming President Biden should use his power under existing law to accelerate global vaccine manufacturing — including by sharing the vaccine recipe with qualified manufacturers around the world. If the United States leads the way to expand production, we can overcome scarcity, rationing, and preventable death, suffering and misery.”