What Would You Do Wednesday? Should the Biden Administration give vaccines to other countries?

At News Views, we’re always trying something to get y’all out here talking. This week, I have presented an issue that is somewhat new to us. At one point, the United States prioritized who could get vaccinated against COVID-19 because we had a limited amount of vaccinations available. As of last Monday, the Biden administration made all adults in the U.S. eligible for coronavirus vaccines.

With a second wave of cases in India, the White House pledged to send ‘millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine. Currently, the AstraZeneca vaccine has not received FDA emergency use authorization. But, we do have doses of the vaccine sitting in U.S. warehouses awaiting approval and ready to go in people’s arms.

The decision to send millions of doses overseas ‘has split top Biden administration officials — with many arguing that the government cannot reduce its stockpile of doses on hand given recent disruptions in U.S. vaccine production.’

The ongoing divide raises questions about the administration’s confidence in the nation’s vaccine pipeline, which for now is largely reliant on just two manufacturers: Pfizer and Moderna. It also underscores the extent to which members of Biden’s pandemic response team disagree about how to protect Americans from highly transmissible virus variants while alsohelping countries in dire need.

“The question is, what if there is a manufacturing problem or a contamination or a barrier, and then all of a sudden we don’t have enough vaccines,” said one senior administration official. “There’s people … pushing to do it and do it now. Then there are people who are saying … we’ll deal with it, but not right now, let’s just wait a little bit.”

Krishna Udayakumar, director of Duke’s Global Health Innovation Center offered a different opinion:

“There’s no reason for the U.S. to sit on doses and have hundreds of millions of doses on the shelf over the summer. If and when more doses are needed in the fall and into the winter, the manufacturing capacity is going to ramp up pretty significantly.”

The United States has also experienced resistance to the vaccines with ‘more than 40 percent of Republicans consistently telling pollsters they’re not planning to be vaccinated — a group that could threaten efforts to tamp down the virus’s spread, public health officials fear.’ So, we may have even more vaccines in our stockpile since MAGAts refuse to do their part.

So, your task, as the intelligent lot you are, is to discuss the dilemma. Should we or should we not be the world’s vaccine provider? Do we just provide them only to India, which is suffering greatly from this deadly virus or do we share our bounty with the rest of the world, especially since MAGAts have expressed they have no desire to get a jab or two? What if we run out just in time for another surge in the fall and then the Administration gets accused of having bare cupboards or something equally absurd?

Hope you enjoy- Please understand that this is not a free chat thread. Please post to the topic; share your ideas, solutions, etc.

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