“India is going through a very terrible situation right now. They’ve had, yesterday, the largest number of cases that has ever been reported by any country,” said Fauci in a press briefing.
India on Saturday recorded 3,46,786 new Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic broke out last year.
Regarding the ability of vaccines to protect against Covid-19 variants in India ‘not yet fully characterised’, Fauci said, “They have a situation there where there are variants that have arisen. We have not yet fully characterised the variants and the relationship between the ability of the vaccines to protect. But we’re assuming, clearly, that they need vaccines.”
He said that US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with its counterpart agency in India to provide technical support and assistance and suggested to get people vaccinated.
Meanwhile, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said that US has longstanding commitment to India’s public health.
“We are working closely with them in the Covid-19 response. The Quad partnership and team is providing assistance across governments,” said Zients in the White House press briefing.
The US is ‘committed to sharing vaccine supply’ and ‘as our confidence around our supply increases, we will explore those options’.
“And, you know, this is a global pandemic, and India demonstrates the risk of what can happen if we don’t get the pandemic under control everywhere. And it’s why we made the biggest investment in COVAX and we are committed to sharing vaccine supply. As our confidence around our supply increases, we will explore those options,” said Zients.
India has been shipping AstraZeneca doses to other nations under its Vaccine Maitri initiatives, but now it is facing worst surge in Covid-19 cases.
Regarding sharing vaccine doses with India, Zients said that the process is between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the companies.
Meanwhile, informing about US vaccination program Zients said that all individuals aged 16 and over are eligible for a shot consisting of Pfizer and Moderna.