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US won’t work with global effort to develop COVID-19 vaccine

US Won’t Work with Global Effort to Develop COVID-19 Vaccine

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration said Tuesday that it would not work with an international cooperative effort to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine because it did not want to be coerced by multilateral groups like the World Health Organization (WHO).
The decision to go it alone, first reported by the Washington Post, follows the White House decision in early July to withdraw the United States from the WHO. Trump said the WHO needs reform and is heavily influenced by China.
Some countries have worked directly to secure vaccine supplies, but others are joining forces to ensure success against a disease that has no geographic boundaries.
More than 150 countries are implementing the Global Access Mechanism for COVID-19 Vaccines, or COVAX.
This WHO-linked cooperative effort would allow countries to leverage a portfolio of potential vaccines to ensure their citizens are quickly covered by those deemed effective.
The WHO said even governments that make deals with individual vaccine manufacturers would benefit from joining COVAX as it will provide back-up vaccines in case those made through bilateral agreements with manufacturers fail.
“The United States will continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be coerced by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China,” the spokesperson from the White House, Judd Deere said.
“This president will spare no expense to ensure that any new vaccine meets our Food and Drug Administration’s gold standard for safety and efficacy, is thoroughly tested and saves lives.”
Representative Ami Bera, D-California, said the administration’s decision was shortsighted and will hamper the battle to end the pandemic.
“Joining COVAX is a simple step to ensure the United States has access to a vaccine no matter who first develops it,” tweeted Bera, a doctor.
“This stand-alone approach leaves America at risk of not getting the vaccine.”
The administration’s decision, coupled with the US withdrawal from the WHO, means the US is abdicating US global leadership in the fight against pandemics, according to Tom Hart, director for North America of The ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization co-founded by Bono of the rock group U2.
“Not only does this move endanger the lives of millions of people around the world, but it could also completely isolate Americans from an effective vaccine against COVID-19,” Hart said.
A handful of the dozens of experimental COVID-19 vaccines being tested in humans have reached the last and biggest hurdle – in search of the necessary proof that they work.
AstraZeneca announced Monday that its vaccine candidate had entered the final stages of testing in the United States. The Cambridge, England-based company said the study would involve up to 30,000 adults from various racial, ethnic and geographic groups.
Two other candidate vaccines began final testing this summer on tens of thousands of people in the United States.
One was created by the National Institutes of Health and manufactured by Moderna Inc, and the other developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech in Germany.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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