The United States has purchased about 2B vaccine doses. No one is sure how many vaccines the US is sitting on today, but it’s estimated that the federal stockpile has as many as 100M doses of Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J, plus 60M of AstraZeneca (does not have emergency authorization from the FDA, so it’s currently not being administered in the US). So in total, we have 160M in our stockpile, with 200M more doses to be delivered in the next two months.
Over half of the US population has been vaccinated, and vaccination rates are steadily dropping. Here in King County, Washington, the number of people who are vaccinated each week declined 25% from mid-April to mid-May. Appointment shortages are no more: walk in any time for the jab. We’re quickly reaching the upper limit of the people who want to be vaccinated.
The US has two paths it could go down. The first is it could strive for 100% vaccination here domestically. Because ~30% of people don’t want the jab, this path involves soft and hard coercion. Mandatory vaccination implemented by the government and/or businesses and schools. A vaccine passport system. No free will – the technocrats will decide what’s best for you.
While there are some holdouts from at-risk people who are older, overweight, and/or have a preexisting condition, the majority of holdouts are healthy people at little risk from major COVID symptoms. Here in King County, there is a 99.9%+ survival rate for populations under 50. It’s not clear that inoculating this population will have a sizable impact on hospitals or reduce death.
There is another option. We could donate these unused vaccines sitting in cold storage to countries that need them. Currently, India, Thailand, and other countries are being ravaged by COVID and have very little supply of vaccines. We could make a huge impact in the world.
There are currently 140M people in India 60+ years of age. Our stockpile could cover the entire 60+ population in India. Applying some conservative assumptions to the death rate, we could reduce deaths by 371k by donating our vaccine stockpile to India and inoculating everyone who wants it over 60 years old.
China has donated 200M doses of vaccine to the rest of the world. The US? We’re at about 4M doses donated. We have a tremendous opportunity to turn this around and save lives across the world. Let’s grab it.
Time is of the essence. Let’s not wait – let’s get this miracle, lifesaving vaccine to the people that need it – people 60 and older in developing countries. With over 160M vaccines in our stockpile and 200M being delivered in the next two months, we should not hesitate to make this decision.