US govt diverting its vaccine-making materials supply to India

India and US flags seen during a news conference at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi | Bloomberg

About 10 million AstraZeneca doses that have already been produced could become available for export in the next several weeks if they pass FDA checks for product quality, a senior administration official said.

"Right now we have zero doses available of AstraZeneca", Ms. Psaki said. One of those countries is India, which is now going through one of the worst Covid surges in the world. Despite this, many members of the European Union had distanced themselves from AstraZeneca's vaccine.

'Therefore the U.S.is looking at options to share the AstraZeneca doses with other countries as they become available'.

"We are looking at it", an official said in response to question from The Hindu but did not offer comment on the current position of the administration.

During a news briefing on Tuesday, Andy Slavitt, the White House senior COVID-19 advisor, addressed a report stating that the country will be shipping 60 million doses to countries like India over the next two months. "So, this is not immediate".

AZ also said that it is "making progress" with addressing the technical challenges in its vaccine manufacturing processes.

The official said that since there was only a prioritisation of supplies to the United States government under the law and no formal export ban or embargo, usa companies could - and have exported - Covid supplies after meeting U.S. official contracts.

The US has identified commercial suppliers of Remdesivr, which is now in shortage in the country.

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The U.S. has used wartime powers and contractual clauses to give its orders priority - meaning that there are, as of now, no known U.S. -made doses that have gone to any buyer other than the U.S. government. Some of those doses have already been sent to Mexico and Canada as part of what the U.S. has referred to as a "loan".

"If the USA does not act quickly, new COVID-19 variants will continue to spill over into countries across the globe and into our backyard".

According to another official, the United States will be exporting 36 millipore filters that would be used to manufacture the Covishield AstraZeneca vaccine.

But "vaccine diplomacy" has been sharply limited by concerns among Biden administration officials that unforeseen factors may necessitate a stockpile of doses, including requiring boosters, the spread of variants, and the still-uncertain nature of which vaccine works best among children.

Officials in the EU's executive branch were particularly enraged by the refusal of the company to divert doses made in two plants in the UK. The Department of Defense and the US Agency for International Development are pursuing options to provide oxygen generation systems and working on the oxygen supply chain.

Biden said in March that if there was a surplus of vaccines, "we're going to share it with the rest of the world". However, he has repeatedly underscored that vaccines will not be sent without taking care of the American population first. "We did not use the time we got to tackle this second Tsunami of sorts". "We've got to make sure they are safe to be sent".

Under the Defence Production Act invoked by former President Donald Trump to meet the Covid-19 crisis, raw materials were contracted by the government, which then supplied them to vaccine manufacturers to enable them to meet their commitments to the United States government.

Other countries like Russian Federation and China - regimes where the political downside of sending vaccines overseas have little bearing on leaders' decision-making - have far outpaced the USA in distributing vaccines, expanding their influence in places like Southeast Asia.

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