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U.S. Gearing up to Ship AstraZeneca Vaccine to COVID-Hit India

By: Manny Otiko, IVN

The Biden administration is preparing to ship millions of doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to India, even though the medication has not been approved in the United States.  The Associated Press (AP) also stated that neighbors Mexico and Canada have both asked for doses. 

“Given the strong portfolio of vaccines that the U.S. already has and that have been authorized by the FDA, and given that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized for use in the U.S., we do not need to use the AstraZeneca vaccine here during the next several months,” said White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients, according to an AP story. “Therefore the U.S. is looking at options to share the AstraZeneca doses with other countries as they become available.”

According to the AP, the AstraZeneca vaccination is still awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA.) 

“AstraZeneca’s vaccine was initially expected to be the first to receive federal emergency authorization, and the U.S. government ordered enough for 150 million Americans before issues with the vaccine’s clinical trial held up clearance. The company’s 30,000-person U.S. trial didn’t complete enrollment until January, and it still has not filed for an emergency-use authorization with the FDA,” said the Associated Press. 

However, India is currently going through another surge of COVID-19 cases. And the numbers look pretty grim. India is currently witnessing about 300,000 new cases per week.  The country has reported more than 17 million positive coronavirus tests and close to 200,000 deaths. Things are getting so bad that wealthy Indians have loaded up their private jets and sought refuge in more developed countries such as the United States and Britain.

Ironically, Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, has exacerbated the situation by allowing Indians to continue having religious ceremonies and holding mass rallies. Now he’s paying the price. 

The Biden administration has made steady progress getting the vaccine to Americans. It recently announced that about 200 million people (two-thirds of the population) had received the shot. However, to reach the magical herd immunity number, about 80 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated. 

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that mass vaccination had allowed some mask restrictions to be eased. The president said it was safe for people, who have been fully vaccinated, to go outside without a mask, as long as they are around other vaccinated people or not in a crowd. 

Part of the problem with the United States is both masking and vaccinations have become politicized, with Trump supporters seeing both issues as an infringement on their liberties.

Many Evangelical Christians and Trump supporters say they will refuse to take the vaccine, even though it’s beginning to be requested to attend schools or jobs. 

Peter D’Abrosca, a Trump supporter, said he would refuse to get the vaccine for a childish reason. He said that he wouldn’t get vaccinated to make liberals mad.

“If those bastards want me to get the jab, I’m not going to do it, because it annoys them,” said D’Abrosca, in “American Greatness,” a pro-Trump publication. “My primary reason for refusing the vaccine is… I dislike the people who want me to take it, and it makes them mad when they hear about my refusal. That, in turn, makes me happy.”

However, there is a lot of hypocrisy among anti-vaccination Republicans. FOX News has run several anti-vaccination stories. Tucker Carlson, the network’s top-rated star, regularly bad mouths vaccinations and claims there’s no proof of their effectiveness. 

“Now [Anthony] Fauci has declared that because the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has injured six people—and if that’s true, by the way, would make that vaccine much safer not just than birth-control pills, but safer than many other vaccines we’ve distributed in the past—because this one vaccine has hurt six people out of 7 million, we need to stop using it immediately. Does that make sense to you? No, it really doesn’t. It seems possible there may be more going on here,” said Carlson in a recent broadcast. 

Fauci, the nation’s leading virologist, dismissed this as “a typical crazy conspiracy theory.”

However, Rupert Murdoch, who owns FOX News, takes the coronavirus seriously, even though his network airs conspiracy theories. He was vaccinated last year by Britain’s state-sponsored National Health Care system. The network still requires most of its on-air talent to work from home. 

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