I listened to the song “Coming to America” a lot as a kid. To me, it meant that America became better when immigrants like my parents brought knowledge, skills and abilities here with them. COVID-19 vaccines are one such immigrant success story. 

The pandemic needs to end everywhere to fully reopen the global economy and minimize the threat of coronavirus variants: the mutant viruses that could undermine vaccine effectiveness. While the Biden administration has secured over 550 million excess COVID-19 vaccine doses, the world faces a vaccine access crisis. Only 0.4% of doses given were in low-income countries. Such decisions truly matter when it comes to trade, security and diplomacy. 

The Biden administration recently voiced support for waiving intellectual property protections of COVID-19 vaccines. It’s a goodwill gesture but sharing our excess vaccine doses and production technology would show we really mean business.

Utah’s leaders, including Sens. Lee and Romney, should call on the Biden administration to do more to beat out Chinese and Russian influence by sharing vaccine doses and technology equitably with countries in need. America succeeded in producing a means to end the pandemic but hoarding will only leave us “in the eye of the storm.”

Naresh Kumar

Salt Lake City