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#NYT։ US is sitting on tens of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses that the world needs

16:45, Friday, 12 March, 2021
#NYT։ US is sitting on tens of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses that the world needs

Tens of millions of doses of the coronavirus vaccine made by British-Swedish company AstraZeneca are sitting idly in U.S. manufacturing facilities, awaiting results from its U.S. clinical trial while countries that have authorized its use beg for access.
     The fate of those doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine is the subject of an intense debate among White House and federal health officials, with some arguing the administration should let them go abroad where they are desperately needed, while others are not ready to relinquish them, according to senior administration officials.
     AstraZeneca is involved in those conversations.
     ''We understand other governments may have reached out to the U.S. government about donation of AstraZeneca doses, and we’ve asked the U.S. government to give thoughtful consideration to these requests,'' said Gonzalo Viña, a spokesperson for AstraZeneca.
     About 30 million doses are currently bottled at AstraZeneca’s facility in West Chester, Ohio, which handles ''fill-finish,'' the final phase of the manufacturing process, during which the vaccine is placed in vials, one official with knowledge of the stockpile said.
     But although AstraZeneca’s vaccine is already authorized in more than 70 countries, according to a company spokesperson, its U.S. clinical trial has not yet reported results, and the company has not applied to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization. AstraZeneca has asked the Biden administration to let it loan U.S. doses to the European Union, where it has fallen short of its original supply commitments and where the vaccination campaign has stumbled badly.
     The administration, for now, has denied the request, one official said.
     The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

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