Former Health and Social Services Officer Dr. Mario Ramirez told CNBC that he was “concerned” about equitable access to Covid-19 resources around the world and criticized the Trump administration for not participating in the multilateral COVAX facility.
“One of the things that was regrettable about the Trump administration’s approach to the pandemic was that they chose not to attend the COVAX facility,” said Ramirez, a former coordinator for the HHS Pandemic and Emerging Threats Office of Global Affairs. “The COVAX facility was an opportunity for emerging economies to jointly invest in vaccines and gain access to all of these resources.”
According to a report by NBC News, poorer countries around the world may have to wait years to get vaccines while vaccines are currently being rolled out in rich countries like the US and the UK.
In a comprehensive interview on Wednesday evening during The News with Shepard Smith, Ramirez also discussed his experience with Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. One of tens of thousands of Americans who have now received it, he said he felt “great” after having “a little pain in his arm”.
All 50 states have now started giving Pfizer’s vaccinations. An FDA advisory committee will meet Thursday to discuss whether or not to give Moderna’s vaccine the go-ahead just two days after announcing the shot is highly potent. If the panel approves the Moderna vaccine, nearly 6 million doses will be deployed across the country next week. The federal government has already signed deals with Pfizer and Moderna to deliver a total of 200 million vaccine doses by the first quarter of the new year.
Ramirez told Shepard Smith that there are several systems in place to ensure people get their critical second dose of the Covid vaccine. He was given a physical paper dosage card and said it was part of the process to remind people to get their second dose. The ambulance added that he also receives regular feedback from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through his V-Safe app. Ramirez said another critical aspect of helping people remember they received the second dose was to sign up for the first dose.
“For example, we know from previous studies with the HPV vaccine that complying with this second visit is a big contributor to compliance,” Ramirez said.