Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


Fauci: US will consider sending AZ vaccine to Covid-hit India

US to send support as India battles devastating COVID surge US Is Under Pressure to Release Vaccine Supplies as India Faces Deadly Surge
Hannah Rogers | 26 April, 2021, 01:37

"It's why we made the biggest investment in COVAX and we are committed to sharing vaccine supply as our confidence around our supply increases, we will explore those options", Zients said.

As for the rest of the world, "We will, of course, always do as much as we can, consistent with our first obligation", he declared.

The U.S. had identified sources of raw materials needed to manufacture Covishield and will make them "immediately" available for India, she said.

France plans to offer India "significant" extra oxygen capacity in the coming days to help the country cope with a record surge in COVID-19 infections, the French presidency said on Sunday. "We're looking at what is going to be done with some of the vaccines that we are not using", the president said on Wednesday.

The wave of cases has left hospitals running out of critical oxygen supplies and the government has deployed military planes and trains to get oxygen to New Delhi not only from other parts of the country but also overseas.

The number of cases across the country surged by a record daily rise of 349,691 on Sunday, for a total of 16.96 million cases, including 192,311 deaths, the health ministry said.

The country of 1.3 billion people is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, warned in an op-ed published Saturday in the Washington Post.

The EU as a whole is also preparing rapid assistance for India, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said earlier. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had been due to visit India this week before the worsening situation there forced him to cancel, said Britain stands "side by side with India as a friend and partner" and would do whatever it could to support India through the crisis. "As we provide assistance, we pray for the people of India -including its courageous healthcare workers", Harris said in a tweet. "The EU is pooling resources to respond rapidly to India's request for assistance via the EU civil protection mechanism".

Biden's Spokesperson Jen Psaki last week also sidestepped a question about lifting the ban on vaccine raw materials speaking instead about the reaction of USTR Katherine Tai to the request from India and South Africa for waiving the intellectual property rights for the vaccine.

The BHC release said that the assistance package, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, includes ventilators and oxygen concentrators from surplus stocks.

However, the USA has forgotten the old favor and refused to export raw materials to increase India's vaccine production in times of trouble.

He said it was important to work together to identify ways to overcome bottlenecks in medical supply chains and expedite ongoing vaccination efforts.

The United States has around 30 million doses of the low-priced AstraZeneca vaccine that are not approved for use in the country, and Fauci told ABC's "This Week" news program the idea of sending them to India will be "something that is up for active consideration".

Earlier, defending the ban on the export of vaccine raw materials, a State Department official had stressed the "Americans First" policy.

This comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Sullivan both expressed concerns over India's massive jump in Covid cases even as they vowed to "rapidly deploy additional support" to help India tide over this crisis.

"From the earliest stages of the pandemic, we've provided India with emergency relief supplies, medical consumables, pandemic training for Indian state and local health officials, and ventilators, which has been part of our effort over the course of time, including Dollars 1.4 billion in health assistance to India to help them prepare for pandemics in the future and deal with the current one we're facing", Psaki said.

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