January 16, 2022

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Biden Administration Plans to Broaden Covid Vaccine Manufacturing

Biden Administration Plans to Expand Covid Vaccine Production

“The thought of creating a marketing strategy with two corporations fairly than a public well being plan is disturbing to us,” mentioned Dr. Joia Mukherjee, chief medical officer of Partners In Health, a worldwide public well being nonprofit. “We consider that Biden has the facility, notably with Moderna as a result of a lot of it was taxpayer funded, to demand the sharing of patents and know-how.”

Some activists, livid with what they regard because the administration’s sluggish progress, turned up on the dwelling of Ron Klain, Mr. Biden’s chief of workers, in September and deposited a fake mountain of bones on the sidewalk in protest. One other group protested outdoors Mr. Zients’s dwelling on Wednesday morning.

Addressing criticism that the Biden plan is just not targeted on constructing capability abroad, Dr. Kessler mentioned that home manufacturing “is necessary not just for the U.S. provide, however for international provide.”

On the identical time, partnering with large drug makers presents no ensures. Mr. Biden introduced earlier this yr that he had brokered a deal with Merck & Co., the pharmaceutical large, to fabricate Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, together with for different nations. Officers hailed the partnership as historic, saying it slot in with the president’s imaginative and prescient of a producing marketing campaign just like the one Franklin D. Roosevelt spearheaded to supply provides for World Battle II.

However the Merck deal has not panned out as anticipated. Administration officers initially hoped Merck would start producing the vaccine’s key ingredient by the tip of this yr, however that won’t occur till April, Dr. Kessler mentioned.

Congress put a complete of $16.05 billion within the American Rescue Plan this yr, in two separate tranches, that may very well be used to obtain and manufacture remedies, vaccines and different instruments for ending the pandemic.

However in an evaluation released this summer, the AIDS advocacy group Prep4All discovered that each one instructed, the administration had spent $145 million — simply $12 million of it from the American Rescue Plan — to broaden vaccine manufacturing. Most went to retrofitting Merck’s manufacturing strains.

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