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The U.S. will send India raw materials for vaccines and intensify financing aid for Covid-19 shot production, joining European countries in helping stem the world’s biggest surge in cases.
Material needed to supply Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made in India, has been sourced and “will immediately be made available for India,” Emily Horne, a spokesperson for U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, said during a statement.
Sullivan spoke by phone Sunday together with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, consistent with the statement.
The U.S. Development Finance Corporation will fund an expansion of production capability by Indian vaccine maker BioE to a minimum of 1 billion doses by the top of 2022, consistent with the statement. Ventilators, therapeutics, rapid-test kits and private protective equipment also will be sent.
The U.K., France and Germany also pledged aid over the weekend for India, which has reported some 1 million new cases over the last three days and a couple of ,767 deaths over the newest 24-hour period. The outbreak is increasingly closing the remainder of the planet to travelers from India and threatening the country’s economic recovery.
Earlier, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser said the U.S. will consider sending India stockpiled, unapproved doses of AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine.
“I think that’s getting to be something that’s up for active consideration,” Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” while cautioning that he didn’t “want to be speaking for policy immediately .”
The U.S. stockpile of AstraZeneca shots reached quite 20 million doses earlier this month and has grown since then, prompting persistent calls by doctors to donate the shots to other countries that are way behind the U.S. in their vaccination efforts. That’s gained urgency with India’s worsening crisis.
AstraZeneca hasn’t requested U.S. regulatory approval for its two-dose vaccine within the U.S., which has three other authorized vaccines to deploy. President Joe Biden by March had ordered almost enough Covid-19 vaccines to completely inoculate every American adult twice.
India is additionally a producer of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which it’s been exporting.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said late Saturday that the U.S. is functioning with India’s government amid the “horrific” outbreak.
The U.S. “will rapidly deploy additional support to the people of India and India’s health care heroes,” he said on Twitter.
The U.K. said it had been sending quite 600 pieces of medical kit — nine airline container loads — to India, starting on Monday.