U.S. panel urges government to join WHO-led COVID-19 vaccine facility

(Reuters) – The United States should opt into the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, an independent expert panel tapped by top U.S. health officials to advise on vaccine allocation said on Friday.

“The U.S. government should commit to a leadership role in the equitable allocation of COVID-19 vaccine globally by opting into the COVAX facility …. deploying a proportion of the U.S. vaccine supply for global allocation,” the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said in a statement.

The COVAX facility, led by the WHO and the public-private partnership GAVI vaccine alliance, gives access to COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development. The White House said in September it would not join the global effort, because of the WHO’s involvement.

The panel’s report said that participating in the global allocation of COVID-19 vaccines, including the possibility of devoting some of the reserved capacity of the U.S. supply,

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