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A leader of the global vaccination effort tells "Axios on HBO" that leaders of rich countries who "ignore the rest of the world" during pandemics are failing at their jobs.

The big picture: Countries like the U.S. have moved on to vaccinating children while health care workers in many countries still don't have enough doses to be fully vaccinated.

  • "It's a natural thing ... to try to protect one's own family," Dr. Seth Berkley told Jonathan Swan in the "Axios on HBO" interview.
  • "But if you do that and the virus is continuing to spread in other places and mutates, then you all — not just your children but the parents themselves — can be at risk of further outbreaks."

Berkley is CEO of Gavi, which helped found the international COVAX effort to secure doses for poorer countries.

  • The effort is flailing: COVAX is months behind schedule, as Axios World editor Dave Lawler reported last week.

The bottom line: Berkely told "Axios on HBO" that it's not his job to tell politicians what to do, but said it's "correct" that rich countries could fix the vaccine inequities if they wanted.

  • "I think we are seeing more of that now because I think country leaders are beginning to understand with these variants that in fact it is potentially a catastrophic crisis," he said.

Go deeper

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Benefits of J&J COVID-19 vaccine outweigh risks, per CDC data — Why vaccinated America can't turn its back on unvaccinated America.
  2. Health: A reality check on the GOP's push for coronavirus antibody testing — NYC to require COVID vaccination or weekly testing for city workers — Over 50 medical groups call for mandatory vaccinations for health care workers — Savannah reimposes indoor mask mandate.
  3. Politics: Biden: Americans with long-COVID symptoms may qualify for disability resources — Prominent Republicans find new enthusiasm for COVID-19 vaccines — GOP Rep. Clay Higgins says he has COVID for second time.
  4. Sports: Golfer Bryson DeChambeau will miss Olympics after testing positive for COVID— NFL raises vaccine pressure
  5. World: Israel to require vaccine certificates to attend social events.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Mike Allen, author of AM
Jun 6, 2021 - World

"Axios on HBO": Blinken vows to hold China accountable on COVID origins

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told "Axios on HBO" the Biden administration is determined to "get to the bottom" of COVID-19's origins, and said the U.S. will hold China accountable.

Why it matters: "The most important reason we have to get to the bottom of this is that's the only way we're going to be able to prevent the next pandemic or at least do a better job in mitigating it," he said during a wide-ranging interview in the State Department's Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room.

Jun 5, 2021 - Axios on HBO

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews Secretary of State Tony Blinken

On the next episode of “Axios on HBO,” Axios co-founder Mike Allen interviews U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken.

  • Catch the full interview and much more on Sunday, June 6, at 6 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and HBO Max.