Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Daily News Lessons (show all)

U.S. plan to share Pfizer shots globally ‘too little and too late,’ ex-CDC director says

September 23, 2021


The Biden administration announced Wednesday that the U.S. was purchasing an additional 500 million Pfizer COVID vaccines to donate to other nations. The move is what critics and organizations like the WHO have been calling for — a much more robust effort on behalf of rich countries. Yet some are saying this still isn’t enough, including  Tom Frieden, former head of the CDC.

Five Facts

  • Who is interviewed in this piece and what is his background?
  • What are some of the consequences of leaving much of the world’s population unvaccinated?
  • When did the U.S. begin distributing Pfizer and other vaccines around the world?
  • Why has the rollout of vaccine donations been too slow, according to Frieden?
  • How many doses of vaccine have been donated overseas already, according to this piece?

Focus Questions

  1. One of the other potential priorities for vaccine doses is booster shots to renew protection for people who were already fully vaccinated at the start of the year. Though some data suggests boosters might help some people, the FDA does not yet recommend them for the general population. If vaccine doses are limited, do you think priority should go to international donations or boosters for the already vaccinated in the U.S.? Why do you think so?
  2. What are some of the risks associated with a slow global vaccination rollout, according to Dr. Frieden? What do you think would be some of the benefits to U.S. interests if more of the world was vaccinated?

Media literacy: Who might have a different opinion about vaccine distribution priorities than Dr. Frieden? Who else might you want to hear from?

For More

  • Dr. Frieden suggests here that vaccination rates around the world could speed up if vaccine patent holders like Pfizer and Moderna allowed other countries to manufacture their vaccines. To understand the debate around the vaccines and intellectual property, see this lesson.
  • See this lesson about other Biden administration efforts to increase vaccination in the U.S., including encouraging employer vaccination requirements.

Media literacy education

What is media literacy?

Media literacy is the ability to access, evaluate and create all types of media, including news media.

All of NewsHour Classroom's resources contain lessons in media literacy, including questions like who produced the piece and what do you know about them?

Start by evaluating this video introducing NewsHour Classroom here.