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‘We understand India’s need,’ says US about
vaccine material supply
The Biden administration has conveyed to New Delhi that it understands India’s pharmaceutical
requirements and promised to give the matter a due consideration
The Biden administration has conveyed to New Delhi that it
understands India’s pharmaceutical requirements and promised to
give the matter a due consideration, observing that the current
difficulty in the export of critical raw materials needed to
manufacture COVID-19 vaccines is mainly due to an Act that
forces American companies to prioritise domestic consumption.
President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump had
invoked the war-time Defence Production Act (DPA) that leaves
US companies with no option but to give priority to the production
of COVID-19 vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs)
for domestic production to combat the deadly pandemic in
America, the worst-hit nation.
Since the US has ramped up the production of COVID-19
vaccines mostly by Pfizer and Moderna so as to meet the goal of
vaccinating its entire population by July 4, the suppliers of its raw
material, which is in high demand globally and sought after by
major Indian manufacturers, are being forced to provide it only for
domestic manufacturers. Among other things, the DPA, that was
enacted in 1950, authorises the president to require businesses to
accept and prioritise contracts for materials deemed necessary for
national defence, regardless of a loss incurred on business.
The issue received global attention in recent days after Adar
Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII), tagged
President Biden in a tweet. Respected @POTUS, if we are to truly
unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside
the U.S., I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material
exports out of the U.S. so that vaccine production can ramp up.
Your administration has the details,” he tweeted.