AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) expressed support today for a call by US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), who urged the Biden Administration “to substantially increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines by invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) to facilitate mRNA vaccine technology transfer and by immediately standing up publicly-owned vaccine manufacturing facilities.” The US lawmakers sent the call-to-action via letter to Dr. David Kessler, the Chief Scientific Officer for the COVID-19 Response, and Mr. Jeffrey Zients, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator.
“The only entity currently in charge of this pandemic response is the virus itself – the only way that changes is by having sufficient vaccine quantities to vaccinate our world. We fully support Senator Warren’s and Representative Schakowsky’s call to utilize the Defense Production Act to increase worldwide manufacturing of vaccines,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Even though the pandemic got a head start, the Biden Administration should do everything necessary to compel pharma companies to share vaccine know-how and technology with the rest of the world as soon as possible.”
COVID-19 vaccines first became available more than one year ago. And even though over 60% of the global population has gotten at least one dose of a vaccine, most of the world is still struggling to gain access. Of the nearly 10 billion doses administered worldwide, 77% of those have gone into the arms of people in rich countries.
Additional signatories to the Warren- Schakowsky letter included: US Sens. Jeffrey Merkley (D-OR) and Tina Smith (D-MN), and US Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Katie Porter (D-CA).