According to reports, the U.S. government is under increasing pressure from civil society groups and vaccine producers to do more to increase worldwide production and immunization rates, particularly among the poor and middle-income nations.
When it comes to intellectual property rights, the Biden administration has been a strong supporter of waiving them, while manufacturers have been fierce opponents.
NIH director Dr. Francis Collins told Yahoo Finance that expanding manufacturing overseas would take a lot more time than just depending on current output at the businesses.
“The main way to increase manufacturing of vaccines, right now, is in the facilities that are already doing this. It takes months, sometimes years, to establish brand new vaccine manufacturing facilities and get them actually credentialed to be sure they’re safe, “Collins made the statement.
“If we want to see the billions of doses that are needed as quickly as possible, we ought to do everything possible to ramp up the production in the companies that are already doing this. That’s certainly something the U.S. government is investing in a big way, “he went on to say.
Collins reaffirmed what Vice President Joe Biden and the White House COVID-19 Response Team have said repeatedly: the United States has already provided more doses to the globe than any other nation.
This is due in part to the Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer, failing when the Delta strain spiked in India in March. The change decreased the World Health Organization’s contribution to the COVAX facility, which was critical to ensuring equal access for nations with low and medium incomes.
Because of this, sharing intellectual property and establishing more global manufacturing facilities have become more important in recent months.
“I would like to see a lot more vaccine manufacturing capability in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa” is something Collins would want to see increase significantly.
The volume of manufacturing required to help stop the epidemic would not be available in the near future, he said.
It’s been said that companies like Moderna and Pfizer don’t do enough to help nations with poor and moderate incomes.
To a Yale University panel, Dr. David Kessler, the former FDA Commissioner and current White House COVID-19 Response Leader, recently said: “We’ve spoken about doing more. We’ve talked to Moderna.”
According to Kessler, “We anticipate Moderna to step up as an organization,” despite the fact that the business has yet to build up its capacity.
Kessler also stated that talks with Moderna were “everything from ‘soft touch,’ I tell you.”
A small-cap biotech company with no goods, Moderna, has responded by saying that it is keeping all of its commitments, including helping nations with low and moderate incomes.
“A year ago, we had the ambitious goal of producing up to 1 billion doses at our own facility, supplemented by partnerships. We had a lot to prove to ourselves and others, and few might have predicted how far we have come today. But we recognize that our work is not done, “A recent letter from CEO Stéphane Bancel said as much.
However, both organizations have said that they want to manufacture in Africa. Biovac Institute in South Africa will partner with Pfizer beginning in 2021, the company said in July.
For Collins, the immediate answer would be to have it in the next several months, but that is unlikely.
“Not provide the immediate solution we’d love to have in the next few months.”
After then, Collins will no longer be in charge of the NIH.
According to Collins’ announcement, his last day will be December 31. He will be leaving behind a nearly decade-long record of leadership at America’s premier public research institution (NIH).
Despite being the longest-serving director in the company’s history, Collins announced his resignation earlier this month. The National Human Genome Research Institute, where he works, will be his new home instead.
It is time to bring in a new scientist to lead the NIH into the future,” he said in a statement. “I genuinely believe, however, that no one individual should serve in the role for too long.
Collins has served as head of the nation’s premier scientific research organization for the last 12 years, the longest tenure of any director in the agency’s history. When he wasn’t working on human genome projects, he was director of the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Throughout the epidemic, he has been a strong supporter of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and testing and has guaranteed their financing. He has also spoken to Christians, relying on his own example as a practicing Christian to allay their worries and anxieties.