US yet to authorise 60m doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for public use

Diplomatic Correspondent

7 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The United States, which has a stockpile of 60 million doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, has not yet authorised it for public use.

According to an announcement by the White House on April 26, the United States will start to share up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine with other countries as soon as the next few weeks.

Bangladesh government has sought immediate delivery of 4 million Covid vaccine doses from the USA.

However, the AstraZeneca vaccine has not yet been authorised for US use by the Food and Drug Administration.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the United States would release the doses to other countries as they become available. She said there could be 10 million doses cleared for export "in coming weeks." About 50 million more doses are currently being produced and could ship in May and June.

"Right now we have zero doses available of AstraZeneca," Psaki said, noting that US regulators still need to review the quality of those already produced.

The AP reported that the doses were made at the Emergent BioSolutions facility in Baltimore, which came under harsh criticism for a long list of cleanliness and manufacturing problems found during an FDA inspection.

AstraZeneca is no longer making vaccine at that plant after a batch of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine was ruined by contamination with ingredients from the AstraZeneca shot.

J&J is now overseeing production of its vaccine at the Emergent plant.