From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Paper 2- Vaccine inequality
Issue of diverting the vaccine stock to India
- Epidemiologists to industry leaders are urging the Biden administration to release the reserve to countries like India and Brazil, given the assertion that the doses won’t be used in the US.
- According to Brown University School of Public Health Ashish Jha, the US is “sitting on 35-40 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine Americans will never use”.
- In early April, US chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said the US will likely not need the AstraZeneca shot.
- The AstraZeneca vaccine has not been granted Emergency Use Authorization by the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
- With documented cases of blood clots in younger women in Europe correlated with the vaccine, FDA authorisation may be further delayed.
What has the US said in response
- Co-ordinator of the US Covid-19 taskforce that the Quad partnership and team is providing assistance across government to the country.
- He also stated that as their confidence around our supply increases, we will explore the option of exporting the vaccines.
- According to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker, highest-income countries are vaccinating at a pace 25 times faster than the lowest ones.
- The US has 22.9% of the world’s vaccines but only 4.3% of the world’s population.
- China has 21.9% and 18.2% respectively, and India 13.8% and 17.7%, according to the tracker.
- Almost half of all vaccines have gone to 16% of the world’s population.
- The Washington Post reported that the world’s poorest 92 countries may not be able to vaccinate even 60% of their population for another three years.
- India has vaccinated 8% per cent of the population with one dose and 1% with two. Brazil has vaccinated less than 12% with one.
Impact on vaccination in African nations
- India’s stalled vaccine exports have domino effects on the rollouts in African nations and other developing countries, as Serum’s productions were fuelling efforts globally before India’s second wave.