On Thursday, Anthony Fauci announced to the World Health Organization that the Biden administration will participate in the WHO’s vaccine sharing project. It reverses President Donald Trump’s America First approach. Fauci says the goal is to ensure “equal access” to vaccines for all countries in the world, both rich and poor.
Americans who encrypt to be vaccinated have the right to know how sharing doses with poor countries will affect their own ability to be vaccinated.
President Biden has been under pressure from the public health community to share the vaccine supply that the United States has pre-purchased, even before all Americans who want shots receive them.
The vaccine sharing project with the acronym COVAX raises money to buy vaccines for poor countries, but also asks richer countries to donate actual doses. The principles of dose-sharing COVAX, released on December 1
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says it is unfair for younger, healthy adults in countries like the US to get injections before frail and older in poor countries. He calls it a “catastrophic moral failure.”
Similarly, Kate Elder of Doctors Without Borders opposes “if a healthy 20-year-old in New Jersey is vaccinated before a front-line health care professional in South Sudan.”
Bruce Aylward, a WHO adviser, argues that it is unacceptable for a country to vaccinate its entire population before offering doses to the poorest countries of the poorest countries.
Duke University public health experts also argue that high-risk groups in poor countries should get the vaccine before the U.S. public. A report from the Duke Global Health Innovation Center complains that affluent countries are monopolizing the original supply.
Thursday’s statement from the White House on vaccine sharing says the United States will comply when there is “sufficient” supply here. What does “sufficient” mean? When only those with the highest risk are vaccinated, as globalists suggest, or when all Americans have been shot? The public needs a clear answer to this question.
There are strong reasons to oppose COVAX’s vaccine sharing principles.
First, U.S. taxpayers poured billions into Operation Warp Speed to develop the vaccines with the understanding that they would get a large share of the original production. When Trump refused to join COVAX, The New York Times smashed the decision as “vaccination nationalism,” but Americans desperate to get vaccinated are unlikely to care about political correctness.
Second, the United States is striving to achieve herd immunity in the summer, which researchers predict will require approx. 70 percent of the population is vaccinated. Diverting some of the vaccine supply to COVAX would jeopardize this goal.
On Monday, the International Chamber of Commerce took part in the call for a fair distribution of vaccines, arguing that aid to poor nations will benefit the economies of the wealthy. True in the long run, however, vaccinating a quarter of any country’s population, as COVAX suggests, would require the United States and other developed countries to give up returning to normal this year.
Third, when new virus variants emerge, vaccination becomes even more of a race against the clock. Otherwise, a variant that does not respond to the vaccine may occur. Moderna announced on Monday that the vaccine is somewhat less effective against the newly identified South African variant. People may need annual boosters against new strains.
In the last two weeks, both the EU and the US have been hit with unexpected news of a setback in production. On Monday, the EU actually threatened to ban AstraZeneca from exporting doses until it meets its contractual obligations. The EU puts its own people first.
It’s a lesson for America. Vaccine sharing decisions should not be left to public health “experts” whose globalist views are now rising in Washington, DC. It is important to help the world, but America must first take care of its own.
Betsy McCaughey is the author of “The Next Pandemic.”