mcloudyn.png
Sunday October 2nd, 2022 10:20PM

US diverts COVID-19 funds to secure vaccines amid stalemate

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration said Wednesday that a funding crunch is forcing it to divert more than $10 billion in coronavirus relief from test procurement and other efforts as it tries to come up with money to secure the next generation of vaccines and treatments for some high-risk Americans.

The White House said it has been left with “no choice” but to cut back on orders of at-home rapid tests that have supported a domestic manufacturing base for the easy diagnostic tests. It also is scaling back funding for research and development of new COVID-19 vaccines and limiting orders of personal protective equipment in an effort to maintain some stockpiles of vaccines and treatments for Americans heading into the winter.

Even then, the Democratic administration says, there will only be enough money available to provide treatments and vaccines to some people. It urged Congress to act to provide enough money to secure doses for all who might want or need them.

“The administration has to act because Congress won’t,” the White House said in a statement. “These trade-offs we are being forced to make because of Congress will have serious consequences on the development of next-generation vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, domestic vaccine production capacity, stockpiling of PPE and the procurement of tests and testing supplies for federally qualified and community health centers."

The White House said the “unacceptable" trade-offs were due to congressional inaction.

It was not immediately clear which vaccines and treatments the administration was seeking to secure with the limited funding — including whether the administration was placing orders for potential multivalent vaccines that would protect against both the original COVID-19 strain and offer targeted protection against some variants. The White House also didn't say how many doses of vaccines would be acquired, citing contracting requirements for the lack of clarity.

The administration said the Wednesday moves would shift $5 billion to buy COVID-19 vaccine doses for the fall, $4.9 billion for 10 million Paxlovid oral antiviral treatment courses and $300 million for the purchase of additional monoclonal antibody treatments.

The Biden administration has been warning for months of the potential for rationing and other tough trade-offs if Congress doesn't act to provide additional funding, saying that it would cost lives as people's immunity from booster doses or from prior infection wane.

Lawmakers in March appeared near a deal for $10 billion of the $22.5 billion that President Joe Biden has requested, but negotiations broke down over Biden's plans to end pandemic-related public health restrictions on U.S. borders that severely curtailed migration. Though that move has been blocked by a federal judge, lawmakers have appeared no closer to reaching a deal.

The White House has said that if it doesn't act swiftly to secure vaccines, other nations will lock in their own places in line ahead of the U.S. That would reverse the trend of the U.S. being among the first nations, if not the first nation, to market vaccines and life-saving COVID-19 treatments like Paxlovid.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ukrainian forces could pull back from embattled eastern city
Ukrainian forces battling Russian troops in a key eastern city appeared on the cusp of retreat
9:58AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Simone Biles, other women seek $1B-plus from FBI over Nassar
Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and dozens of other women who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar are seeking more than $1 billion from the FBI for failing to stop the sports doctor
9:53AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Polish leader faces questions about timing of bond purchase
Poland’s prime minister is facing questions over his purchase of 4.6 million zlotys (over $1 million) in Polish treasury bonds
9:41AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
'Only God can help': Hundreds die as Somalia faces famine
No mother should have to lose her child
2:21AM ( 7 hours ago )
Vietnam's health minister arrested over COVID test gouging
State media say Vietnam's health minister and the mayor of the capital Hanoi have been arrested in an investigation into massive price gouging of COVID-19 tests
1:53AM ( 8 hours ago )
FDA advisers back Novavax COVID shots as 4th US option
A more traditional kind of COVID-19 vaccine is a step closer to becoming the fourth option for U.S. adults
5:40PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Health
Ukrainian forces could pull back from embattled eastern city
Ukrainian forces battling Russian troops in a key eastern city appeared on the cusp of retreat
9:58AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Simone Biles, other women seek $1B-plus from FBI over Nassar
Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and dozens of other women who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar are seeking more than $1 billion from the FBI for failing to stop the sports doctor
9:53AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Polish leader faces questions about timing of bond purchase
Poland’s prime minister is facing questions over his purchase of 4.6 million zlotys (over $1 million) in Polish treasury bonds
9:41AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Sepp Blatter avoids testifying at start of FIFA fraud trial
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter was full of smiles before entering the courtroom but later claimed he was bothered by chest pains and unable to testify on the opening day of his criminal trial
9:40AM ( 25 minutes ago )
1 dead, 9 injured after driver hits pedestrians in Berlin
Rescue services say a man has driven a car into pedestrians in a popular Berlin shopping district, killing one person and injuring nine others seriously
9:30AM ( 36 minutes ago )