On Monday, the White House announced plans to bring the AstraZeneca vaccine into the country, once it is approved by federal safety officials. According to White House pandemic advisor Andy Slavitt, President Biden’s declaration will soon be followed by an influx of nearly 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses.
The vaccines will be exported as soon as they become available in large quantities. The AstraZeneca dose would only be administered after the Food and Drug Administration clears the vaccine in terms of efficacy and safety, over the course of the next few months. However, the vaccine is already prevalent for emergency use in numerous countries, apart from the U.S itself.
Biden’s decision to order millions of AstraZeneca vaccines comes in light of the increased pressure on the country to extend a helping hand to other nations around the world, specifically because the supply of U.S vaccines has met the demand to a great extent. Although Biden didn’t mention the countries who’d receive the vaccine doses, he did go on to say that the U.S would help India with vaccine doses and other emergency supplies to counter the spread of the deadly virus. The conditions in India have worsened beyond the realm of control and hence, the President aims to offer them support through vaccines and other materials.
It is important to note that the U.S had ordered nearly 300 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine last year, but the company didn’t apply for emergency use with the FDA due to delayed clinical trials. At present, the FDA will review and approve approximately 10 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses in the coming weeks and 50 million in the next two months, stated the White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Just about a few weeks ago, AstraZeneca had been asked to find a new production site after its original one was declared unsafe. According to the FDA, the company’s Baltimore plant was suspected to be contaminated; the plant had also spoilt nearly 15 million vaccine doses of Johnson and Johnson.