US has 3 crore AstraZeneca vaccines in stock which it is not using, claims a US think tank
US has 3 crore AstraZeneca vaccines in stock which it is not using, claims a US think tank
AFP Photo

The Biden administration has come under intense pressure over the unused vaccines that the US has stored and is not giving to countries that are in dire need. According to the Gravel Institute, a US think tank, the country has access to 30 million AstraZeneca vaccines which it can share with countries hard-hit with COVID-19 like India, Brazil and others.

The institution took to the microblogging site to make this claim. Over the last few days, powerful US Chambers of Commerce, lawmakers and eminent Indian-Americans, have been asking the US government to ship AstraZeneca and other COVID-19 vaccines along with several life-saving medical supplies to India.

Meanwhile, Myron Brilliante, executive vice-president and head of international affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce said the stored vaccine doses in the US will not be needed in the States, where it is estimated that vaccine manufacturers will be able to produce enough doses by early June to inoculate every American.

"As the Covid pandemic inflicts a heavy toll on countries around the globe, the US Chamber strongly encourages the administration to release the millions of AstraZeneca vaccine doses in storage - as well as other life-saving support - for shipment to India, Brazil, and other nations hard-hit by the pandemic," said Brilliante.

The US Chambers issued the statement after Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar sought global help in the fight against COVID-19.

However, the US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter told reporters that the United States continues to work closely with India to facilitate the movement of essential supplies and also address the bottlenecks of the supply chains.

There are also some tweets asking Twitter users to tweet about the situation in a country like India. So that the US government can support India.

US defends restrictions on export of vaccine raw materials

Meanwhile, defending US' restrictions on the export of key raw materials for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccine that threatens to slow India's vaccination drive, a senior State Department official has said the Biden administration's first obligation is to take care of the requirements of the American people.

When asked when the Biden administration would decide on India's request to lift a ban on the export of vaccine raw materials, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said: "...the United States first and foremost is engaged in an ambitious and effective and, so far, successful effort to vaccinate the American people. "

"That campaign is well underway, and we're doing that for a couple of reasons. Number one, we have a special responsibility to the American people. Number two, the American people, this country has been hit harder than any other country around the world - more than 550,000 deaths, tens of millions of infections in this country alone," he said on Thursday.
It is not only in the US interest to see Americans vaccinated; but it is in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated, he said.
According to the data from the India’s Health Ministry on Saturday morning India had recorded 3,46,786 new cases and 2,624 deaths in the last 24 hours. At the same time, 2,19,838 people had been discharged.

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