The meeting came roughly three weeks after the Biden administration announced it was in the process of shipping 110 million donated doses of COVID vaccines to more than 60 countries. That amount, which surpassed the contributions of all other countries combined, seemed to underscore Joe Biden’s pledge that the U.S. would serve as an “arsenal of vaccines for the world.” The doses, Biden and his deputies would repeatedly emphasize, came free of cost, with no strings attached and no quid pro quos.
But there was something else that the vaccines came without: syringes. A substantial portion of the doses were manufactured by Pfizer, whose vaccine has to be injected with a specialized syringe. A worldwide shortage of such syringes has put them out of reach of most other countries, especially those in the developing world.
Last week, key advocates presented members of the White House COVID-19 task force with updated projections of likely syringe shortages in the developing world. The analysis, which Vanity Fair obtained, warned of a shortfall of 226 million of the syringes needed to administer Pfizer doses by February 2022, and a shortage of 1.8 billion of those needed for all COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022.Biden’s Global COVID-19 Vaccination Push Endangered by Worldwide Syringe Shortage | Vanity Fair