The new effort, which relies on money approved by Congress as part of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package, aims to break what experts say is a feast-or-famine cycle in U.S. preparedness for biological threats, of which the coronavirus is only one example.
Nearly half of American adults have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 30% of adults in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As many as 60 countries might be stalled at the first shots of their coronavirus vaccinations because nearly all deliveries through the global program intended to help some of the world's poorest nations are blocked until as late as June.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that on average, one in four people in rich countries has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to only one in 500 people in low-income countries.
A patchwork of advice was emerging from governments across Europe and farther afield, a day after the European Union’s drug regulator said there was a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare clotting disorder while reiterating the vaccine is safe and effective.