Pfizer, the US-based drugmaker, has been making Covid-19 shots for domestic use after the Trump administration restricted its exports to other countries. However, this restriction expired at the end of March, thus allowing its Michigan plant to make the first export to Mexico.
Compared to the US has already vaccinated 30% of its adult population with 237.4 million doses, Mexico has only done 5% with 17 million doses. The country has recorded over 2.3 million cases and more than 216,000 deaths so far, thus the urgent need to fully vaccinate its population.
There is an increased demand for the Covid-19 vaccine, and nations such as Canada, Mexico, and others have been mounting pressure on the Joe Biden administration to share its vaccine doses or allow Pfizer to manufacture more vaccines to meet this need. A country such as India is struggling to tame the pandemic while wealthy governments are stocking up their Covid-19 shots, especially from Moderna and Pfizer. The two vaccines have high efficacy and are considered safer than Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Plc. Recently Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine was returned to use after being taken out of use due to safety issues.
So far, Pfizer has led in the supply of Covid-19 vaccines as it has exported over 10 million shots to Mexico from its plant in Europe. It does this in collaboration with its German partner BioNTech SE, which has shipped vaccines to other nations directly from the Belgium plant. Mexico confirmed to have received a million doses from this European production plant, 2 million from Pfizer, and another million doses are expected next week.
Even as Pfizer is free to make and supply vaccines to other countries, the drugmaker is expected to meet the United States’ vaccine need, forcing it to make more shipments from its Belgium-based plant. In view of that, Pfizer should supply Americans with 300 million doses before the end of July.
To meet this domestic demand and the more than a billion shots to the global market, the US-based company will make more than 25 million vaccine shots every week and 2.5 billion by the end of 2021. So far, the US has successfully vaccinated approximately 140 million citizens with more than 240 million shots, making its vaccination campaign successful. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pfizer made this possible by supplying 157.8 million doses to the government, and 125.5 million doses have already been administered.
Another new development is that AstraZeneca will begin exporting its Covid-19 vaccine shots from its US-based facility. The US government is now ready to share the 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine with the rest of the world once it meets federal safety reviews. Although the vaccine is currently being used in other countries, the Food and Drug Administration has restricted its use in the US.
The announcement made on Sunday indicates that the US government will ship to India Covid-19 vaccines raw materials, protective gear, and medical equipment. This is the latest country to experience an almost collapse of its healthcare system.
In summary, the United States has a strong vaccine portfolio approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and its vaccination campaign is already successful. Recently President Joe Biden and CDC approved fully vaccinated Americans to engage in outdoor activities without masks. Now the government is ready to share its vaccine doses with other countries as soon as possible.
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