Washington has delivered more than 335 million doses of COVID vaccine to 110 countries to date, as many doses as there are people in the United States, a senior White House official said on Friday. .
Responding to a request from Joe Biden to speed up donations, the US executive has distributed no less than 50 million doses over the past two weeks, he also told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The American president had promised in September, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, that his country would donate a total of more than a billion doses to poor countries, promising to be the “arsenal” of the world in the fight against the pandemic.
And Washington repeats at the slightest opportunity that its vaccines are distributed without waiting for “consideration”, implying that this would not be the case for the doses distributed in particular by its great rival, China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who denies carrying out “vaccine diplomacy”, recently promised Africa one billion doses of anti-COVID vaccines, in the form of donations or support for local production.
A few days ago, Nicaragua received 200,000 doses of the anti-COVID vaccine developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinopharm, shortly after severing its relations with Taiwan.
New licensed vaccine
A new vaccine is also added to the international immunization effort against COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) approved the Indian vaccine Covovax on Friday.
This vaccine “is produced by the Serum Institute of India under license from Novovax and is part of the Covax portfolio. [le système international de distribution de vaccin], which will help boost efforts to immunize more people in low-income countries, ”said WHO in a statement.
“Vaccines remain one of the most effective methods of protecting against severe forms and death caused by SARS-CoV-2, despite the appearance of new variants,” said Dr.re Mariangela Simao, WHO Access to Medicines Officer.
This approval “should facilitate the access of poor countries to vaccines, 41 of which have still not been able to vaccinate 10% of their population, while 98% of countries have still not reached 40%”, a- she stressed. The WHO had set this target of 40% of the population of all countries vaccinated by the end of the year.
This vaccine requires two doses and can be stored at temperatures of 2 to 8 °, as in commercial refrigerators. It uses a different technology from that used for vaccines already widely authorized in the world. It is a so-called “subunit” vaccine, based on proteins that trigger an immune response, without viruses.
It joins the anti-COVID vaccines Covaxin, from India’s Bharat Biotech, those from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca (WHO has two vaccines associated with the pharmaceutical group, one of which is made in India), Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm and Sinovac on the list of emergency approvals.