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Postmaster: Send address change to News India Times, 35 Journal Square, Suite 204, Jersey City, NJ 07306 Annual Subscription: United States: $28 Disclaimer: Parikh Worldwide Media assumes no liability for claims/ assumptions made in advertisements and advertorials. www.newsindiatimes.com – that’s all you need to know Opinion News India Times July 23, 2021 3 The US Is Far Too Fixated On Vaccinating Americans. It Must Focus On TheWorld W hile the United States is run- ning lotteries and celebrity ad campaigns to convince every American to get vaccinated, other parts of the world are digging mass graves for their victims of co- vid-19. Therein lies the greatest failure of the current U.S. pandemic response: It has become fixated on the disease at home while giving lip service and responding slowly to the threat abroad. In the United States, the covid-19 threat is currently low. Nearly all at-risk Americans are protected. The virus is now circulating in young people for which the case-fatality rate is similar to seasonal flu, except daily covid-19 cases are a fraction of the daily influenza cases in a mild flu season (about 20,000 vs. 133,000 per day). But it’s a very different pandemic overseas. Hospitals around the world are overrun, and the morgues are overflowing due to low vaccination rates. More than 70 countries and territories have vaccinated less than 10 percent of their population, with 12 unable to reach even 1 percent. We need to help them get vaccinated. President Joe Biden declared June a “month of action” in an attempt to reach his ambitious goal of vaccinating 70 percent of American adults with at least one dose by July 4. That effort came up short, but in the process, the government has hoarded vaccines in surplus, putting millions of vaccines on track to expire and end up in the trash, by order of the Food and Drug Administration. They should be on trucks headed to Canada or Mexico. The waste is expected to continue into the fall. The United States purchased a whopping 200 million additional Moderna doses for boosters and child vaccinations, despite no evidence that boosters are needed for the general public. Let me be clear: As many non-immune Americans as possible should still get the vaccine. But spending millions of tax dol- lars to pay people to get vaccinated - as California is doing - is not the answer. It is financial mismanagement and a tunnel- vision approach to valuing human life. Biden recently announced a global vaccine sharing program to get more vac- cine doses to other countries in need, and his administration plans to purchase an additional 500 million vaccine doses for donation. But this came several months too late and did not come with a global supply chain plan. It’s not as simple as ordering an Amazon delivery to Ghana. It takes months to establish distribution channels and set up vaccination sites. The United States planned for six months to distribute the vaccine domestically and still had many hiccups, including nursing homes getting the vaccine a full month after FDA approval. Imagine trying to do the same in a country with less developed infrastructure. And vaccine supply is not the only is- sue. I’ve spoken with some of the leading experts on global logistics. They describe incredible challenges to distributing the vaccine around the world. There’s a lack of refrigerated vehicles and on-site cold storage. Transportation can be unreliable and law enforcement isn’t always in place to prevent the theft of vaccines. What’s more, systematic corruption and misuse of funds notoriously cripple U.N.- led aid efforts and could threaten Covax, the U.N.’s global vaccine effort. As Ron Cruse, founder and chief executive of the supply-chain service company Logenix In- ternational, told me, “The scale of vaccine aid in this instance is not something the U.N. handles well, historically.” Already in Kenya, legislators are investigating the misappropriation of $69 million in Covax aid. Cruse added, “This kind of corruption can lead to a total breakdown in the sup- ply chain of lifesaving medicine.” These are the problems that the ad- ministration should be focusing on. It can help the world learn from our mistakes and incorporate the newest scientific findings on the effectiveness of the first dose and the power of natural immunity. For example, by now we know that anyone who already had covid should move to the back of the vaccine line. They already have immunity. Dose-sparing strategies and the appropriate vaccine allocation plan save more lives, period. The administration should also re- consider requiring second vaccine doses for kids under the age of 18. We know covid-19 death in healthy kids is extremely rare, and a recent Israeli study of kids 12- 15 found that a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine was 100 percent effective after three weeks. Plus, complications with myocarditis in kids after vaccination have clustered immediately after the second dose. So why is the United States using precious vaccines on second doses for healthy kids when the risk-benefit analysis for that second dose is not yet conclusive? The domestic threat of covid-19 is markedly reduced. Given the contribution of natural immunity, the United States has much higher levels of population immu- nity than our vaccination rates suggest, with upward of 85 percent of adults now immune. If the United States really wants to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and reduce the risk of new variants developing overseas, it should stop running vaccine ads with celebrities and politicians and start turning its attention to the more challenging task abroad. Marty Makary is a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health and Carey Busi- ness School. He is editor in chief of Medpage Today and author of “The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care - and How to Fix It.” -Special to TheWashington Post By Marty Makary Photo:Twitter@MartyMakary Kids Deserve The Vaccine, Too. ItWill Keep Them - And Adults - Safe A s rituals of summer return to America, the national goal of herd immunity against the coronavi- rus has been largely abandoned. States are instead focusing on at least partially immunizing at least 70% of adults. There’s a problem with this strat- egy, though: It leaves out children. In fact, some parents and doctors have recently suggested there should be no urgency to vaccinate U.S. children at all, given the risk of rare heart complications, the fact that covid-19 is typically mild in young people and the concern that vulnerable people still lack the vaccine worldwide. But teens and even young children, if the vaccine is approved for them, must re- main part of our approach if we are to end this pandemic, for many reasons - not just because all individuals irrespective of age can be infected with and can transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Sustainable control of covid-19 will certainly require vaccinating children. And kids have the right to live free of the threat of the virus, too. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccine for adolescents 12 and older, and manufacturers are testing lower doses of the vaccine to use on even younger kids, possibly as early as this fall. Although covid-19 tends to be milder or asymptomatic in children, new variants of concern continue to emerge, including the delta variant, which is substantially more infectious than the original virus and many other variants. So far, vaccines used in the United States seem to be holding up against these variants, but the risk of the virus to unvac- cinated individuals remains significant. At this point, most covid-19 deaths and hos- pitalizations are among the unvaccinated. Barely 47% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated. While many states have reached the goal of 70% of adults receiving at least one dose of a corona- virus vaccine, more states (particularly in the South) are well below this target. County-level variability in immunization rates is even starker. It is hard to imagine gaining sufficient ground against the virus without vaccinating a large swath of teens and children. Vaccinating children would eliminate the need to choose between keeping them safe and restoring a sense of normalcy for them. After all, it’s children who will be going back to indoor classrooms this fall; children who are subject to testing every time they get the sniffles; children who have to wear masks, even in hot weather; and children who are missing out on the swim lessons and birthday parties that still haven’t resumed in parts of the United States. Even when children engage in these activities, parents continue to worry about the looming risk of the variant du jour. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance Friday that vaccinated children and teachers can have the option of going maskless in school buildings this fall - recommendations that could open new risks to young children By Reihan Salam - Continued On Page 4

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