Prime News, International (New York), April 23:- It is in the world’s interest that Americans are vaccinated and the US has to first take care of the requirements of its own people, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price has said about Washington’s restrictions on exporting raw materials for making the Covid-19 vaccines.
Asked at his briefing on Thursday if President Joe Biden’s administration had made a decision on the requests made from India to lift the ban on the export of vaccine raw materials to India, Price said bluntly, “We have a special responsibility to the American people.”
“It’s, of course, not only in our interest to see Americans vaccinated, it’s in the interests of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated,” he added.
As for the rest of the world, “We will, of course, always do as much as we can, consistent with our first obligation,” he declared.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar discussed Covid-19 and health cooperation last week and it had opened the possibility of Washington allowing vaccine raw materials to be exported.
Earlier this month, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawala appealed to Biden to allow the export of vaccine raw materials. “If we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the US, I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the US so that vaccine production can ramp up,” he tweeted.
Price first tried to sidetrack the issue of restrictions on vaccine raw materials exports by claiming that the reporter had asked about intellectual property rights for vaccines and that it was a matter for the US Trade Representative (USTR). (MR, Inputs: Agencies).