WASHINGTON – Ahead of the White House’s COVID-19 summit today with leaders from around the world, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) joined Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) and a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress urging the Biden Administration to donate unused vaccine doses that would otherwise expire to developing countries urgently in need of more vaccines.
Vaccination supplies remain low in much of the developing world and with deadlier, more contagious variants like Delta surging around the globe.
“Counties along the U.S. – Mexico border have requested, and are still awaiting permission, to donate vaccination doses that are near expiration to neighboring communities,” said Rep. Grijalva. “There are thousands of vaccines that are going to waste in pharmacies and grocery stores in Arizona and other states that could otherwise be used to help vaccinate individuals across the border and around the world. It’s critical moving forward we implement policies that ensure global vaccine equity and strategic distribution if we are to defeat this virus.”
The lawmakers wrote: “In order to meet this challenge at scale and while we still have time, we request that you swiftly implement a process for redirecting unused vaccines to meet global demands and urgently support efforts to ramp up vaccine production capabilities. We ask that you press our allies and partners with large quantities of unused vaccines to commit to a similar process. The U.S. should also prioritize efforts to address logistical and messaging challenges in the delivery, distribution, and administration of vaccines. Doing so will be critical to combating misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and ensuring that key populations—including in remote and underserved areas—will have access to the vaccine.”
In June 2021, Rep. Grijalva sent a letter encouraging HHS to approve an Arizona Border Counties Coalition request to donate vaccination doses that are near expiration date, and may otherwise be wasted, to neighboring communities along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Full letter to President Biden is available here.