US Senators ask vaccine companies to share supply plans for India, world

Five US senators led by Elizabeth Warren have written to drug makers Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, asking them to present particulars on the plans to supply their Covid-19 vaccines in India and the remainder of the world. The letter from the senators comes as India faces vaccine shortages in the midst of a raging pandemic that has to date claimed greater than 2 lakh lives.

The different senators who’ve signed on this letter are Edward J Markey, Tammy Baldwin, Jeffrey A Merkley and Christopher S Murphy. The companies are anticipated to reply by May 11.

“India is a major producer of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines and has exported over 66 million doses globally since January 2021. But in the midst of the recent surge of Covid-19 cases, India is struggling to vaccinate people quickly enough to quell the outbreak. There are several steps that vaccine companies could take to expand access to vaccines globally, including in India,” the senators wrote.

The senators prompt a number of steps that the companies might take to develop entry to vaccines globally. They have prompt that the companies share their vaccine know-how and manufacturing data with different companies to velocity up manufacturing. “This technology transfer could take place voluntarily,” they wrote.

There can also be the World Health Organization’s mechanism for know-how switch referred to as the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) and its just lately launched mRNA vaccine know-how switch hub – which seeks to “expand the capacity of low- and middle-income countries to produce Covid-19 vaccines and scale up manufacturing” by facilitating the switch of know-how and mental property to these international locations.

Some US authorities officers have additionally put their weight behind India and South Africa’s proposal to the World Trade Organization to waive elements of Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights. They have requested the US authorities to assist this proposal. If this proposal goes by way of, it might briefly raise sure mental property boundaries and permit international locations to domestically manufacture Covid-19 diagnostics, remedies, and vaccines, the senators stated.

“Though Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and different companies have developed protected and efficient Covid-19 vaccines, the uncontrolled unfold of coronavirus poses important dangers to international vaccination efforts: because the virus proliferates, it evolves – growing the danger of a variant growing that renders vaccinations ineffective,” they wrote.

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