A shocking number of Americans don’t know if they qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine

New York Times

A new viral dilemma for Biden: how to deal with the looming vaccine mass

Washington-Biden administration officials expect coronavirus vaccine supply to outpace US demand by mid-May and are working on what to do with the looming surplus when vaccine shortages become excessive. is. President Joe Biden has promised enough doses to vaccinate all approximately 260 million adults nationwide by the end of May. But between then and the end of July, the government promised enough vaccines from manufacturers to cover 400 million people. This is about 70 million more than the country’s total population. Maintaining, modifying, or redirecting these orders is an important issue, not only in the country’s efforts to contain the virus, but also in how quickly the pandemic can end. About three-quarters of the worldwide vaccine doses are given to only 10 countries. At least 30 countries have not yet injected one person. Signing up for The New York Times’ The Morning newsletter could exacerbate global rarity as countries and regions restrict vaccine exports. With the proliferation of infectious diseases, India, a leading vaccine distributor, is now controlling almost all of the 2.4 million doses produced daily by Indian private companies. That action follows this week’s European Union decision to move an emergency bill to curb vaccine exports for the next six weeks. Biden administration officials, who tend to retain US surpluses in the future, point to unmet needs and growing uncertainty: children and adolescents have not yet been vaccinated and have immunity. No one knows if or when it will decline. shot. “We mainly want to be part of the global solution here,” White House spokesman Jen Psaki said this week. But she added: “There are still many unpredictable factors that we need to plan as much as possible, such as variations and impacts, the most effective ones, and the ones that are best for children.” Vaccine manufacturers and some federal governments. Officials say decisions about what to do with additional orders must be made within a few weeks. Otherwise, uncertainty can slow down the production line. The manufacturing process can take up to 10 weeks and changes for overseas markets can take some time. Regulatory regulations governing vaccine shipments present another hurdle, as well as the limited shelf life of the drug substance that manufactures the vaccine. Vials at domestic bottling plants in Michigan and Indiana are labeled for home use. If you do not know your destination, you may need to suspend the production line or change the label of the vial for overseas. Once the doses are shipped to the state, federal regulations prohibit the collection of them, even if they are not needed domestically. Also, the vial cannot be stored permanently. The vaccine itself can last up to a year in a frozen state, but it should be used within 4-6 months of being bottled. All these variables can complicate a relatively successful voyage for the Biden administration. Thanks to months of federal support, vaccine manufacturers are steadily increasing production, and the state is exploding new doses as fast as the government can offer. Where to go from here is a matter of intense debate. Clinical trials to determine which vaccine works for adolescents and children in the country are ongoing and will probably not end properly at the same time. By the end of spring, for example, Moderna and Pfizer are hoping for interim results on how the vaccine works for 30 million adolescents in the United States. But at least Moderna doesn’t expect results for children under the age of 12 until the school year begins next fall. The government was able to continue administration from these two manufacturers while waiting for the discovery, but later found that another vaccine that was later tested (such as Johnson & Johnson’s) was a better option. I did. Booster shots may require millions of doses or more if one or more of the three licensed vaccines is found to provide only short-term protection against COVID-19. .. However, it is uncertain when the answer will come. Federal health officials also said that this fall some from Moderna and Pfizer in exchange for a fresh supply of either pediatric doses or injections of new vaccines reconfigured to counter the rapidly expanding variants. We discussed canceling or reducing that order. There is some impetus for it from manufacturers whose vaccines are coveted by other high-income countries. But it will also deprive federal authorities of the power to decide which countries will get surplus doses and the humanitarian and diplomatic credibility that comes from sending vaccines to countries in greater need. For all these reasons, the government is committed to maintaining the doses ordered, at some point bilateral transactions to direct excesses to other countries, or international non-profit backed by the World Health Organization. Officials say they are devoted to giving it to the organization COVAX. We are trying to coordinate the fair distribution of vaccines. The Biden administration has already donated $ 4 billion to its international efforts. Biden emphasized that his top priority was to protect Americans, but there is increasing pressure to share US stocks. The United States has ordered three federally licensed manufacturers and AstraZeneca to administer 1 billion doses. These vaccines have not yet been approved for emergency use in the United States, but have been approved in more than 70 countries. It recently announced that it is negotiating with Johnson & Johnson a dose contract sufficient to cover an additional 100 million. In summary, this supply is sufficient to vaccinate 650 million people, which is almost twice the population of the United States. The death toll from COVID-19 is the highest in the world, with the United States fully vaccinated 14% of the population. The White House announced last week that it would share the AstraZeneca vaccine with Mexico and Canada, but emphasized that Americans would not lose because the vaccine has not yet been deployed here. This is a small amount compared to the federal government’s 300 million doses of AstraZeneca, which is sufficient to cover 150 million people with a double dose regimen. Government officials say tens of millions of these doses could be released now or imminently, and tens of millions of unjarred doses could possibly be given. Brazil is particularly eager for help. With more than 300,000 lives lost, the country has the second highest death toll, with less than 2% of the population fully vaccinated. “After dealing with the very difficult situation in our country, which has killed more than 535,000 people, there is clearly a surplus vaccine in the future, and we are certainly considering making that vaccine available in the next country. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said at a White House press conference Wednesday. He turned the Byden administration to open vaccinations to all adults in the state. I cast it in early May, which I hope for as a point. In this week’s interview, he said that anyone who wants a vaccine could get one. It looks like, but some people don’t want to be vaccinated. According to this month’s Pew Institute poll, 69% of the population is either willing or already vaccinated in the summer. That makes the US production outlook even brighter. Both Faucier and Moderna have promised enough doses to cover another 100 million people by the end of July. Faucier continues to strengthen its production lines. Moderna also wants to get regulatory approval to increase the number of doses of each vial by at least 40%, but a shortage of special vaccines can hinder that plan, according to federal authorities. And Johnson End Johnson is taking time to expand production in the United States and is competing to deliver 24 million products manufactured at its Dutch plant by the end of this month. It has just certified a new bottling operation in India and is expected to approve a vaccine production line at its Baltimore plant at any time. Johnson End Johnson lags behind other manufacturers, but We have great expectations for mass production as the technology can provide higher doses per lot. If Merck & Co. is expected to begin producing Johnson & Johnson vaccines later this year, 100 million doses per month, or Physer And Moderna could mass-produce the amount they offer each month together. The White House welcomed the deal between Johnson End Johnson and Merck, but by the time production accelerated, these doses would increase. May lead to surplus or export. One option is to ship frozen vaccines manufactured at Merck’s factory overseas. Is to do. This vaccine can be bottled much cheaper. Of the $ 10 the federal government has agreed to pay for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the drug substance itself accounts for only about 30 cents, federal officials said. The rest is the so-called fill and finish costs. If AstraZeneca gets an emergency use authorization from US regulators, it will put more shots into the mix. Authorities expect to be able to administer approximately 50 million doses in May. But Biden administration officials are crazy about AstraZeneca’s vaccine. It looks almost as effective as Johnson & Johnson, but requires additional shots, which means a more complex rollout. Some health officials are worried that introducing a fourth vaccine will only confuse people if the pipeline already has enough dose to cover all adults who want a shot. On the other hand, if the government decides to donate a dose of AstraZeneca without providing it to its citizens, other countries may conclude that the United States is not confident in the safety or efficacy of the vaccine. There is. “As we become more confident about the doses we have and the ability or need to boost or not, we can make a clearer statement about what the role of AZ products will be in the United States.” Fauci “It gets clearance, but for now, I think it’s too early to say anything,” he said in an interview this week. This article was originally published in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company