Democratic and Republican senators are considering cutting up to $5 billion in funding for global vaccination efforts from an emerging aid package — a key aid to President Biden’s strategy to reduce inequality in vaccines and limit the impact of the next coronavirus variant.
On Monday, the Senate will continue to try to resolve the battle over a broader emergency response package for the coronavirus by cutting it to $10 billion from $15.6 billion. It was not clear if the narrow bill would have the votes to move forward in either house of Congress.
While access to vaccines has gradually expanded worldwide, administering vaccines remains a challenge for him. Many reasons. In many low-income countries, only about 15 percent of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to about 80 percent of the population in many middle- and high-income countries. According to the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford.
This is where the urgent need for additional financial assistance comes in, said Gayle Smith, the former State Department coordinator for the global response to COVID-19 and health security. She said cutting aid could “indicate that the United States sort of thinks the epidemic has been brought under control.” She said that while $5 billion is a lot of money, it’s far less than the “double-digit trillions this pandemic has cost the world.”
The issue is not just saving lives abroad. Uncontrolled outbreaks allow more dangerous virus variants to emerge, as happened with Omicron, prolonging the epidemic and threatening further damage to the global economy. “Our goal should be – not just the United States but every country in the world – this should be shut down as quickly as possible so that we, No. 1, can reduce the risks of new variables,” Ms Smith said.
Ms Smith said the US has led the way in the global response to the pandemic, allocating $11 billion as part of the US bailout. passed last year. The state also donated hundreds of millions of vaccine doses Through the global KOfax initiative And it pledged much more.
According to Analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
When asked at a White House news conference Thursday whether Mr. Biden would sign or veto a bill that does not include significant international aid, Kate Bedingfield, director of communications, said the president has been clear about the importance of the funding effort globally.
“Right now, countries are actually reducing our doses because they don’t have the infrastructure to take our life-saving vaccines,” Ms Bedingfield said. “Obviously the funding will help solve this problem.”
aid will head towards Other supplies, including protective gear and Covid treatments. Republicans said they would support the aid, but demanded that it be paid for by reallocating funds already approved by Congress earlier in the pandemic.
Public health experts worry that wealthier countries are abandoning other countries as they turn to the third and fourth doses of the vaccine. The World Health Organization has been pushing for wealthier nations to share access to vaccines and treatments with the world’s most vulnerable populations.
“We can end the acute phase of #COVID19 this year but only if we work together to bridge inequalities in access to vaccines and other lifesaving tools,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. Video posted on Twitter Tuesday.
Devi Sridhar, professor and head of the Global Public Health Program at the University of Edinburgh, described the proposed package cuts as a “huge step backwards”.
“I am concerned that while we are declaring the end of the pandemic in Britain and the US, we forget that it is still causing so much destruction elsewhere, even if we don’t read about it in the headlines,” Professor Sridhar said.
Uncertainty over Covid funding comes like vaccination The campaign has stopped in the United States, where Total cases now exceed 80 million, according to the New York Times database. Daily vaccination rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the vaccines became widely available to the public in early 2021.
About 32,730 people received the first shot this week, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The booster shots are also dwindling, with only about 52,000 people getting the booster shot this week, compared to about 1 million people a week in early December, soon after Omicron was discovered in the US.
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