The White House on Monday announced that it would co-host the second global Covid-19 summit next month, a meeting intended to boost vaccine donations and end what it believes to be the “acute phase” of the pandemic used to be.
The meeting, set to take place virtually on May 12, comes as efforts to subsidize more global vaccines in the United States have ground to a halt after lawmakers stripped $5 billion in global funding from a pandemic aid package over which the Senate could vote. could vote in the coming weeks.
Lawmakers announced a deal earlier this month on a $10 billion coronavirus aid package focused on domestic coronavirus testing, vaccination and treatment, but declined a push from the Biden administration and some members of Congress to build out the country’s global Covid-19 commitments, some of which are public health experts said they were already missing. Republicans had demanded that new aid be funded in part by reusing previously approved but unspent Covid-19 aid.
That likely setback could have broad implications for eventually eradicating new variant-driven waves of the virus, federal health officials have said. The Agency for International Development has warned that without more congressional money, it would likely have to curtail a new program aimed at vaccinating people in poorly vaccinated countries. And in the United States, new known virus cases have also started to rise in recent days, amid concerns that infections are being counted less and less.
“The emergence and spread of new variants, such as Omicron, have reinforced the need for a strategy to bring Covid-19 under control worldwide,” the White House said on Monday in a statement announcing the May summit, which will also take place. are hosted by Belize, Germany. , Indonesia and Senegal.
About 16 percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose of a vaccine, compared with 80 percent in high- and upper-middle-income countries, according to the University of Oxford’s Our World in Data project. Production problems, export bans and the hoarding of vaccines by rich countries have widened that gap.
The May meeting will carry over themes from the first meeting in September, the White House said, including the logistical work of getting guns, reaching at-risk groups with virus testing and treatments, building more local and regional vaccine production capacity and increasing of the number of health workers.
Vaccine supply has increased in the lowest-income countries, but health officials say doses can come on an irregular schedule, making it difficult to organize vaccination campaigns, especially when health systems lack the necessary storage, transportation and staffing.
Delaware Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat who helped negotiate the pandemic aid package, said on Sunday that millions of doses the United States has bought and can ship abroad may be expired.
SOURCE – www.nytimes.com