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United States Of America Backs Out From Global Effort To Develop, Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine

According to experts, the aim behind Covax (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility) is to prevent hoarding and focus on vaccinating high-risk people in every country

United States Of America Backs Out From Global Effort To Develop, Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine
Highlights
  • US will continue to engage in the efforts to develop vaccine: White House
  • US’s decision to back out is like opting out of an insurance policy: Expert
  • Covax aims to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine doses: WHO

Washington: The United States has said it will not join a global effort led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop, manufacture and distribute a vaccine to cure coronavirus. Over 170 countries are in talks to take part in the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) Facility, aimed at fasttracking vaccine development, secure doses for all nations and distributing them to the most high-risk segment of each population, The Washington Post reported.

Also Read: Fair Distribution Of COVID-19 Vaccine A Big Challenge: WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan

The initiative, co-led by the WHO, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, the vaccine alliance, was of interest to some members of the Donald Trump administration and is supported by US allies including Japan, Germany and the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union.

However, the US will not participate as Mr. Trump pulled out his country from the WHO in July after he criticised the body for covering up the outbreak of COVID-19, which first emerged in China last year.

The US will continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organisations influenced by the corrupt WHO and China, White House spokesperson Judd Deere was quoted as saying.

The decision to back out from the initiative highlights the fact that the administration bets it could win the vaccine race. But it, however, eliminates the chance to get more doses from a pool of vaccine candidates, which is a potentially risky approach.

America is taking a huge gamble by taking a go-it-alone strategy, said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University.

Kendall Hoyt, an assistant professor at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, said the decision was like opting out of an insurance policy.

The US could be pursuing bilateral deals with drug companies and simultaneously participating in Covax. Just from a simple risk-management perspective, this (Covax decision) is shortsighted, she said.

Also Read: Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine’s Phase Two Trial Begins At Pune Hospital

Experts said the plan behind Covax is to prevent hoarding and focus on vaccinating high-risk people in every country — a plan which could improve health outcomes and lower costs. However, the US move to back out from Covax makes that harder.

Suerie Moon, co-director of the Global Health Center at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva said,

When the US says it is not going to participate in any sort of multilateral effort to secure vaccines, it is a real blow. The behaviour of countries when it comes to vaccines in this pandemic will have political repercussions beyond public health. It’s about: Are you a reliable partner, or, at the end of the day, are you going to keep all your toys for yourself?

A senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun had an interest in exploring some type of role in Covax. However, there was opposition within the administration and a belief the US has enough COVID-19 vaccine candidates that it can go it alone.

However, an unlikely worst-case scenario could surface is that none of the US vaccine candidates are viable, leaving Washington with no option as it has not joined Covax, according to experts.

Also Read: Soon, India Will Have Its Dedicated Vaccine Portal: Indian Council of Medical Research

Another possibility is that if a US vaccine does pan out, but the country hoards doses and vaccinates hundreds of thousands of Americans, including those at low risk, while leaving other countries without, The Washington Post reported.

According to health security experts, there are two problems with that strategy. A new vaccine is unlikely to offer complete protection to all people, which means that a portion of the American population would be still vulnerable to imported cases even as the economy reopens.

The second issue is that a US recovery is dependent on global economic recovery. If several parts of the world are still shut down and supply chains are disrupted, America will not be able to recover.

We will continue to suffer the economic consequences — lost US jobs — if the pandemic rages unabated in allies and trading partners, said Thomas J Bollyky, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the director of its global health programme.

Those who back a multilateral approach to global public health would want to see all countries participating in Covax initiative. But WHO officials have said that countries need not choose as they can adopt strategies by signing bilateral agreements and also joining Covax.

By joining the facility at the same time that you do bilateral deals, you are actually betting on a larger number of vaccine candidates, Mariangela Simao, a WHO assistant director-general for drug and vaccine access, was quoted by The Washington Post, as saying at a briefing last month.

While the US has long been the biggest contributor to the WHO and a major funder of vaccine initiatives, it, however, could pledge surplus doses of vaccine to Covax to ensure that they are equitably distributed.

Also Read: Serum Institute Initiates Phase 2, 3 Clinical Study On 1,600 Volunteers For Potential COVID-19 Vaccine

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,43,68,460Cases
22,50,84,762Active
3,40,45,666Recovered
52,38,032Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,43,68,460 and 52,38,032 have died; 22,50,84,762 are active cases and 3,40,45,666 have recovered as on December 3, 2021 at 1:36 pm.

India

3,46,15,757 9,216Cases
99,976 213Active
3,40,45,666 8,612Recovered
4,70,115 391Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,15,757 confirmed cases including 4,70,115 deaths. The number of active cases is 99,976 and 3,40,45,666 have recovered as on December 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,37,221 796

10,882 180

64,85,290 952

1,41,049 24

Kerala

51,51,919 4,700

45,030 252

50,66,034 4,128

40,855 320

Karnataka

29,96,833 363

6,772 169

29,51,845 191

38,216 3

Tamil Nadu

27,28,350 715

8,155 45

26,83,691 748

36,504 12

Andhra Pradesh

20,73,252 159

2,138 11

20,56,670 169

14,444 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,417 12

93 1

16,87,413 11

22,911

West Bengal

16,17,408 657

7,690 22

15,90,208 667

19,510 12

Delhi

14,41,190 217

307 21

14,15,785 196

25,098

Odisha

10,49,597 252

2,211 26

10,38,971 276

8,415 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,870 37

328 12

9,92,949 25

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,827 21

213 10

9,45,659 11

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,570 50

318 25

8,17,158 24

10,094 1

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,199 12

128 4

7,82,543 8

10,528

Haryana

7,71,760 27

178 9

7,61,528 18

10,054

Bihar

7,26,230 5

32 0

7,16,534 4

9,664 1

Telangana

6,76,376 189

3,680 50

6,68,701 137

3,995 2

Assam

6,17,163 124

2,535 77

6,08,517 198

6,111 3

Punjab

6,03,352 32

344 13

5,86,402 18

16,606 1

Jharkhand

3,49,271 15

95 1

3,44,035 13

5,141 1

Uttarakhand

3,44,325 22

182 4

3,36,735 18

7,408

Jammu And Kashmir

3,37,263 177

1,697 10

3,31,089 167

4,477

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,354 85

835 29

2,22,669 113

3,850 1

Goa

1,79,046 56

367 40

1,75,295 16

3,384

Mizoram

1,35,765 315

3,717 55

1,31,545 368

503 2

Puducherry

1,28,998 33

299 10

1,26,826 23

1,873

Manipur

1,25,269 33

663 4

1,22,627 28

1,979 1

Tripura

84,835 15

94 6

83,916 8

825 1

Meghalaya

84,534 24

296 2

82,764 25

1,474 1

Chandigarh

65,475 4

65 1

64,590 5

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,285 6

36 1

54,969 5

280

Sikkim

32,267 15

137 10

31,727 5

403

Nagaland

32,128 3

128 5

31,302 6

698 2

Ladakh

21,642 41

306 21

21,122 20

214

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 1

10,679 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,397 1

18 8

10,328 9

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,686 3

7 2

7,550 1

129

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