Welcome to the era of vaccine diplomacy

Millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine currently in U.S. warehouses are now destined for vaccination sites in Mexico and Canada, according to the White House. The donation is one of the U.S.’s first steps in the emergence of – and deeply controversial – world of late-stage pandemic vaccination diplomacy.

The nearest gesture is allegedly a loan – the US expects to return the favor and hand over some doses of vaccinations in the future. The US can certainly afford to be generous with these doses. The AstraZeneca vaccine he donates is not approved in the US. The country has reserved doses just in case eventually the FDA gets the green light, but the vaccine is still being tested in the US. Results of the trial is expected soon, but functionally, the US puts around a whole bunch of doses with which they can do nothing.

But other countries can. Many places gave AstraZeneca everything, including Canada and Mexico. And the US has put up enough authorized vaccines to innocent the entire American population. This has led many people to apply for the Biden administration let the doses go on countries that need it. Now it seems that they are finally going to do just that.

‘that the vaccine is safe.)

The few million doses handed over to Mexico and Canada are a start. But worldwide, the US is a bit late for the party when it comes to donating vaccines. China, India and Russia, among others, all powered this particular version of soft power. India, which has a large pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, is in an excellent position to donate vaccines to other countries. The UAE is a jockey around a main vaccination center in the Middle East, as well as the distribution of vaccines. China and Russia have both developed their own vaccines and are using them to strengthen alliances around the world. So you have several countries that send their own vaccine supply (and their own national agenda) to countries that cannot afford to negotiate their own transactions with a limited number of manufacturers.

Then there is COVAX. COVAX is a vaccine distribution attempt compiled by international organizations, including the World Health Organization. Its purpose is to make sure that poorer countries it also has access to COVID-19 vaccines. So far it is sent about 30 million vaccines around the world. It’s nothing but a small fraction of the more than 420 million vaccine doses administered worldwide. And it is not far from COVAX’s goal of administering more than one billion doses to poorer countries by the end of this year.

This left COVAX very irritated at all bilateral wheel trade between countries and between countries and drug companies.

“We have made great progress,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WTO. said in February. “But progress is fragile. We need to accelerate the supply and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and we cannot do so if some countries continue to approach producers who produce vaccines that COVAX relies on. These actions undermine COVAX and deprive health workers and vulnerable people around the world of life-saving vaccines. ”

Pray it promised $ 4 billion to COVAX, but there is increasing international pressure for affluent countries such as the USA put their doses on their wallets.

“From an American perspective, we’re losing the message war out there a little bit,” said Krishna Udayakumar, director of Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Center. tell Axios last month. ‘If we look at six months from now, it may well be the fact that the US has donated more doses than any other country in the world. But right now, the storyline is how we buy more and store more of the supply. ‘

It looks like the US is trying to change that storyline – but it’s still take his own diplomatic path to get there. In March, President Biden met with leaders from Australia, Japan and India on a plan to boost vaccine production, flooding countries in Asia and the Pacific this year with vaccines. At the same time, there is internal pressure on the US government to quickly deploy the vaccines they have to their own people, which is due to the Trump administration’s own bungling of the pandemic suffered the highest official death toll in any country in the world.

As the deployment continues, it will all continue to happen. Countries will try to vaccinate the people within their borders, and at the same time they will try to make the best of any donations to the rest of the world. For now, it is a confusing political issue that is caught up in other international negotiations. But when it’s all over and the vaccination vials are empty, the nations of the world will be left with how they treated other people – whether they held a safety blanket of extra doses, or whether they handed over part of their abundance to ‘ a neighbor in need.

Here’s what happened this week.

Research

Scientists need help against COVID-19. They asked for sports.
“It was a year in which professional athletes were the largest, tallest, strongest and fastest laboratory rats in the world.” A fascinating look at how sports leagues collaborated with scientists during the pandemic. (Ben Cohen, Louise Radnofsky and Andrew Beaton / The Wall Street Journal)

Coronavirus re-infections are rare, Danish researchers report
Results from a Danish study found that reinfections were rare, but outside experts wanted more information about one age group in the study that seemed more vulnerable – people older than 65 years. (Apoorva Mandivall / The New York Times)

How much should we really worry about the coronavirus variants?
An accessible walkthrough of common questions about coronavirus variants. (Anna Nowogrodzki / Lead)

Major coronavirus variant first seen in pets
Pets, especially cats and dogs, can also get COVID-19. It seems that they can also catch some of the variants of COVID-19. (David Grimm / Science)

Development

“It’s a very special picture.” Why Vaccine Safety Experts Brake on AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine
Unusual cases of foreign blood clots upset experts in Europe last week. There were not many cases, and there was no clear connection with the vaccine that the patients received, but they were worried – that’s why. (Gretchen Vogel, Kai Kupferschmidt / Science)

What’s up with the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe?
After the blood clots were found, some countries in Europe temporarily stopped vaccinating people. Then regulatory bodies came out and said that the vaccine is safe. Since then, many countries have done so resumes vaccination, but the situation remains complex. (Umair Irfan / Vox)

You were not fully vaccinated on the day of your last dose
Just a reminder – people are only considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose. Please plan accordingly. (Katherine Wu / The Atlantic Ocean)

Perspectives

Fate has led me to a mysterious place for the past nine months: isolation. At one point in my life that I was supposed to branch out, the COVID pandemic seemed to cut the branches to the buds again. I had to research colleges without putting myself on it. I introduced myself to strangers through essays, videos and test scores.

—Gracie Yong Ying Silides, a high school boy, wrote in a college essay about her experience over the past year, extract in The New York Times.

More than numbers

To the more than 420 million people who has been vaccinated – thank you.

For the more than 122,101,187 people worldwide who tested positive, your recovery path may be smooth.

To the families and friends of the 2,696,513 people who died worldwide – 540,950 of those in the US – your loved ones will not be forgotten.

Stay safe everyone.

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