Canada needs more help with COVID-19, leading US vaccine experts urge White House

WASHINGTON – A prominent Texas physician in the United States said the United States should make more efforts to help the Canadian vaccinate, a Texas doctor said that the US borders on the White House to end the epidemic. There is pressure to do more.

Dr., a familiar face of vaccine experts and cable news watchers in both countries. Peter Hotez says the US has enough capacity to expand its largely successful vaccination efforts in neighboring countries, including Canada.

In an interview with The Canadian Press on Monday, Hotez said he had assumed – like a lot of Americans – that Canada had been essentially reconciling its citizens with the US for their safety.

Then he looked at the numbers.

“I was really amazed – only about a third of the country has received the same dose, and essentially no one has been fully vaccinated,” said Hotez, who at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine in the tropics Dean of the School of Medicine.

“I’m not convinced that America is not behind in helping, given that the amount we have to provide is relatively modest (and is) oblivious to the fact that our own self-interest to do it Is in. “

Hotez called it “ridiculous” to think that the vaccination would be prevented by vaccinating Detroit without vaccinating Windsor, Ont., Across the Ambassador Bridge on the other side of the Detroit River.

About 38 million people in Canada represent a fraction of 332 million people in the US, requiring a “rounding error” in terms of vaccine doses, he said.

“The point is, there are emotional reasons for doing it and practical reasons for doing it.”

However, Canada is not the only country that needs help.

Mexico, which also shares an American border, is doing much worse than Canada in vaccinating its 130 million inhabitants. And the tragic tragedy of a fresh wave in India, with growing concern about Brazil, is pressuring the White House to step down.

Both Canada and Mexico are eyeing a growing US surplus of the Oxford-AstraZenca dose, approved for use in those countries, but White House Press Secretary Jane Saki in the US has not made a decision not to share those doses. Is the best thing to do.

“We have a series of requests from all over the world, and we are evaluating those needs, but I cannot move beyond that process,” said Saki.

Hotez said those doses would have only a marginal effect in India, a country of 1.4 billion people where the virus has spiraled out of control in recent weeks, ending the supply of basic needs such as hospitals and oxygen.

“India is a more complex issue – yes, we should provide a dose, but the actual priority for India is a bit different due to scope,” he said.

“It’s not that we shouldn’t do it. It’s that there is a lot to go beyond this.”

The US is already helping India with raw materials and parts for vaccine-making equipment, and is still deciding how to distribute its surplus AstraZeneca supplements, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday .

“We’re leaving until July 4, which is about 10 percent for other countries,” Biden said.

The US will soon begin sharing doses of Pfizer-Bayonet and Modern vaccines beyond its borders.

“As long as there is a problem anywhere in the world, even if we solve it here, we can move as fast as possible, as many doses of Modern and Pfizer can be produced, and those Export to the world. “

A growing series of international voices, including progressive lawmakers in the US, are calling on the WTO to agree on a proposal that would ease patent and intellectual property protection, allowing developing countries to develop their own vaccine-building efforts. Will be allowed to accelerate.

The powerful US pharmaceutical industry is opposed to such a move, anticipating a potential threat to a profitable business model.

An Illinois Democrat said in a panel discussion on Tuesday, “We are at war with the virus, and yet what we are seeing is war profiteering; we are seeing that profits are being inflicted on people.”

“The World Health Organization has stated that one billion vaccine doses have been distributed, but only 0.3 percent of those doses have gone to poor and developing countries. And this is completely unacceptable.”

Shekowski and others are supporting a bid by India and South Africa for a 27-year-old WTO agreement that essentially saves drug trade secrets, a movement that has been slowly gaining steam in recent weeks.

India’s ambassador to the WTO, Brijendra Navneet, on Tuesday filed an indecent petition for the so-called TRIPS exemption, stating that the financial cost of sharing the information would be ten times the resulting economic recovery.

Navya said, “Someone considering the example of India has shown that we have survived by vaccinating our population, it is not going to happen.”

“We have seen that in measles, we have seen that in smallpox, we have recently seen in polio that you can get rid of the virus only when you do a global vaccination.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday accepted the no-one-to-be-safe-for-everyone argument, but stopped to say if Canada would vote to support the proposal.

“We understand how important it is to get vaccinated to the most vulnerable people around the world, and we will continue to work for that,” he said.

Biden, who promised during the election campaign that the US would share his vaccine with the world, also said: “We are going to decide that we go together.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 4, 2021.


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