Africa: Biden Administration Softens US Stance On Worldwide Access to Covid-19 Vaccines – but Shortages a Major Obstacle

India, a major manufacturer of the Astra Zeneca vaccine, is experiencing a devastating surge in Covid-19 and has largely stopped exporting vaccine doses. The country is vaccinating two to three million people a day, equal to the numbers in the US, but with a much larger population. This has had a knock-on effect, drying up supplies for other nations, particularly those in Africa dependent on Covax for vaccines.

When President Joe Biden delivers his first address to Congress on Wednesday, his most significant achievement will be the fact that the US recovered from its disastrous mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic and his administration was able to provide half of America’s adults with at least one vaccination in his first 100 days.

But that success is double-edged because it has highlighted glaring global inequities. This weekend, images of Indian patients dying of lack of oxygen were juxtaposed with those of American pharmacies with surplus stores on their shelves, vaccinating walk-ins. Some US states began vaccinating high school students.

For all the talk that “we’re all in this together”, vaccine access for most people in the world is a long way off as the virus continues to gather strength and speed. Globally,…

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