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Wealthier countries should stop “hoarding” COVID-19 vaccines, Melinda Gates said in a pre-recorded interview with Financial Times editor Roula Khalaf during the publication’s Global Boardroom event.
According to Gates, countries should vaccinate their population “up to a point,” and then send both money and extra supplies out to countries in need, especially as some low-income nations “can’t even vaccinate their healthcare workers.”
“You don’t need to vaccinate all the way down, say, to your teen population … before you send out vaccine doses to Covax,” Gates said. Covax is the World Health Organization’s campaign that was created to increase “equitable access” to the COVID-19 vaccines.
Currently, almost 32% of the US is fully vaccinated, while a little over 44% have received at least one shot, according to data from the CDC. Almost 41% of the US population at or older than 18-years-old is fully vaccinated.
Now, figures like President Joe Biden are under pressure to donate vaccine doses to India, which is currently seeing overrun hospitals and record-setting COVID-19 cases. About 9.4% of India’s population is vaccinated, while only 2.1% are fully inoculated. Adults in India are currently eligible for the vaccine, but many states don’t have enough doses to meet these demands, according to a report from BBC.
Now, Gates predicts the US could begin donating vaccines.
“I think the US government is looking at their supply of vaccines and deciding, okay how much of it should we do through Covax, how much should we do bilaterally,” Gates said. “I think you’re going to start to see some movement there.”
Read more: How coronavirus variants called ‘escape mutants’ threaten to undo all our progress
Gates acknowledges that this “vaccine hoarding” in part comes from manufacturing issues like the location of the manufacturer, bottlenecks, and lack of materials. To …read more
Source:: Business Insider