Wednesday , April 14 2021

How the U.S. was able to accelerate the large-scale vaccination campaign | International

Andrea Moore (left) is waiting with her mother, Alma Penn, to receive the vaccine this Friday at Whitney M Young College in Louisville, Kentucky.
Andrea Moore (left) is waiting with her mother, Alma Penn, to receive the vaccine this Friday at Whitney M Young College in Louisville, Kentucky.John Cherry / AFP

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The U.S. vaccination campaign in medical centers and hospitals, pharmacies, schools and baseball grounds, from Monday to Sunday and even on public holidays, has accelerated to deliver about three million shots a day. Since its inception in December, 101.8 million people (30% of the population) have received at least one dose. Of this number, nearly 58 million have already been fully vaccinated. News from states that expand the range of citizens who can choose to be vaccinated is frequent, reinforcing the feeling that the pace of this long and painful crisis is finally changing. New York citizens began being vaccinated last week at the age of 30, and this Tuesday includes more than 16 people. Texas has already expanded coverage to any adult, and many states will do so before the end of April.

“I do not know of any specialist in medicine, virology or vaccination. We can predict that we will get three effective vaccines in as little as a year and that there are already hundreds of millions of vaccines available in the country,” he said. It’s amazing and amazing, ”said Robert Woucher, head of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, Berkeley.

The United States, which failed to control the virus and killed more than 550,000 people, has demonstrated its scientific and economic strength in the vaccine race. The secret to success (so far) is a combination of several factors, from injecting billions of dollars in funding from the federal government, to daring to share with the risk industry, to a law that allows factory production to intervene. Since the Korean War, it has gone through unnatural alliances between rival companies. It also includes some individual contributions Made in the USA In the case of Dolly Parton, the country’s star, the hat is with “America First” in trade policy.

Call Operating speed (His name is a fantasy, borrowed from science fiction, to travel faster than the speed of light), even for Donald Trump’s highly critical specialists, the Republican administration was struck by mismanagement. It primarily consisted of outsourcing more than $ 10 billion (Rice 57 billion) to a group of pharmaceutical companies to research and develop vaccines, and with massive pre-purchase agreements without a guarantee of productivity. For Ames Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, he said, “Although the United Kingdom and Israel were rapidly vaccinated, this made the biggest difference between the United States and many other countries. While the dosage is still unknown, it is certified by the government and some have not been approved by the FDA. [a agência de medicamentos e alimentos dos EUA]. ”

For example, in July, the government announced an agreement to buy 100 million doses of the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-Bio Entech for $ 1.95 billion (about $ 11 billion) and have the option to buy another $ 500 million. The most publicly funded was Moderna’s immunizer. Promoted in collaboration with government researchers, it received approximately $ 955 million (Rice 5.4 billion) for development and $ 1.5 billion (Rice 8.5 billion) for production, distribution and distribution of 100 million doses. (Dolly Parton also put her sand grain there). The government gave Johnson & Johnson more than $ 450 million ($ 2.5 billion) in development and $ 1 billion ($ 5.7 billion) in production and distribution, including an order for 100 million doses. AstraZeneca and Oxford received $ 1.2 million (Rice 6.8 billion) worth of vaccine for research, production and pre-order. Sanofi-GSK received $ 2 billion (Rice $ 11.4 billion) and Novavax $ 1.6 billion ($ 9 billion). These last two are still hoping to get their first vaccine on the market. “All of this would have been disgraceful if the vaccine had not worked, but it was effective,” Voucher said.

Korean War Act

The first groups were produced with the help of the Product Safety Act, which began during the Korean War (1950), which empowers the President of the United States to force companies to accept and prioritize contracts required for national security. The plague prompted appeals to the White House, which was able to accelerate the production of masks first and then obtain some liquid to make the vaccine.

However, the first phase of distribution was a disappointing slowdown. The Trump administration had promised to end 2020 by 20 million immunized citizens, and that number exceeded 2.5 million. What special experts call the “last mile of the vaccine” has failed, that is, the length from the vaccine to the person receiving the vaccine. Adelza, a professor at Johns Hopkins, says: “The purchase was very stressful, but later distribution to the states was not properly planned.

The United States stepped in for gas with the new democratic administration that began on January 20. On the one hand, they strengthened aid to the states and increased the number of federal vaccination centers betting on neighboring pharmacy chains. On the other hand, the authorities and the system as a whole had learned to do better after the first few months. Shortly after Biden arrived at the White House, Moderna announced that the dose could reach $ 200 million by the end of May.

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Biden’s team also made two crucial decisions. Pfizer turned to the Product Safety Act to get the machinery needed to expand his Kalamaso (Michigan) plant, and pressured a J&J supplier to work at full speed and recover the company’s delay due to packaging problems. . Product. In addition, Biden’s team sponsored a unique alliance between Faizer and its rival, Merck. According to Merck, the government will inject $ 269 million ($ 1.5 billion) to adapt its facilities.

100 million doses

Biden defined the agreement as “the kind of cooperation we saw during World War II.” The 100 million doses he promised in his first 100 days at the White House reached the arms of Americans weeks ago, more than twice as much as the president promised to serve in these 100 days in office, more than 200 million. . He believes that by the end of May, everyone will be vaccinated and that next July 4th will be more than just a celebration of America’s Independence Day: he hopes it will help celebrate independence from the virus.

In this optimistic situation, pressure is mounting on Washington to help countries with supply problems. The United States offers vaccines from Pfizer, Modernna, and J&J, but although the dose of AstraZeneca is in the millions, it has not yet been approved by the FDA. Anthony Fowzie, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Trump & Biden’s referral assistant, estimates that the U.S. can meet its needs without resorting to AstraZeneca units. Currently, 2.5 million of them are exported to Mexico and 1.5 million to Canada, as well as its neighbors and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners.

In an agreement announced at the Quad conference, a virtual meeting to resolve the issue with the participation of the United States, India, Japan and Australia, Biden promised to supply more products to other companies such as Biological E in India.

Vaccine diplomacy has not yet advanced. “If we have a surplus, we will share it with the rest of the world,” Biden said last March. “First, we make sure we can take care of Americans, but then we try to help the rest of the world.”

With the current sailing speed, Americans’ immunity could reach 90% by the end of July. “We still have 20% or 25% of the population reluctant to get vaccinated. We also see occasional flaws in the system [como as 15 milhões de doses da J&J perdidas por um erro humano] We administer the vaccine between 16 and 18 hours at the scheduled bank hours. This is a competition against the virus and its variants, ”said Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic vaccination research team and consultant to several pharmaceutical companies. “The other problem is that each state does it differently.” According to him, “The idea of ​​going step by step and from group to group is intellectually appealing, but the first doses in our hands are better.”

This long year of toil on epidemics and restrictions brings the ultimate danger. The vaccine does not progress as fast as it should. The epidemic has risen again (at a rate of 65,000 patients a day last week), and is approaching its peak last summer, beginning to ease restrictions in many states..

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