As Vietnam is the second-largest foreign source of sports and fitness products to the United States, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has sent a letter to President Biden requesting additional COVID-19 vaccines be directed to the country.
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The letter was released a day after the Biden administration announced this week that the US will purchase 500 million additional vaccine doses developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE to donate to developing countries. The announcement was made at a virtual COVID-19 summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
In the letter, SFIA president and CEO Thomas Cove welcomed the announcement and highlighted the critical need to address the pandemic through the provision of additional vaccines to key US partners in Asia. Vietnam, a country very closely connected to the US economy, is of particular concern as the country is facing dramatic COVID-19 threats and the physical health of Vietnamese citizens will have a very significant impact on the US economy.
Global supply chains are experiencing historic disruptions and the situation in Asia, especially Vietnam, is compounding the situation. As is widely reported daily, these supply chain and logistics challenges threaten to harm the US economy, from businesses that face limited raw materials, production delays and labour shortages to consumers facing potentially soaring prices and limited availability of products, according to Cove.
"Our industry has never experienced global disruptions and pricing dislocations of this magnitude. There are many contributing factors to the supply chain issue beyond US control, but fortunately vaccine distribution, COVID-19 tests, and personal protective equipment (PPE) are areas we can influence to help limit additional disruptions while supporting global public health imperatives," he said.
With Vietnam being the second-largest foreign source of sports and fitness products to the US, the SFIA urges the US government to support an aggressive effort to direct vaccine/testing/PPE resources to Vietnam and other key American partners.