President Joe Biden outlined his plan for the first of 80 million coronavirus vaccine doses that the US will distribute globally, with 75 percent of shots disbursed via the Covax programme.
In a fact sheet, the White House said that for the doses shared through Covax, Washington would prioritise countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa as it aims to help stave off fresh surges of infections.
“We are sharing these doses not to secure favours or extract concessions,” Biden said in a statement.
“We are sharing these vaccines to save lives and to lead the world in bringing an end to the pandemic, with the power of our example and with our values.”
Biden earlier pledged to export 80 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world by the end of this month.
The commitment came amid pressure from other governments to use the United States’ large vaccine surplus to help struggling nations now that significant progress has been made in rolling out vaccinations at home.
“The process to export the first 25 million is underway,” White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters.
“We will deliver on the president’s commitment of 80 million doses by the end of June.”
He said the first tranche is coming from the federal supply of doses and will be comprised of a combination of the three vaccines with current US emergency use authorization: Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer/BioNTech.
A vaccine created by AstraZeneca has yet to earn US authorization.
Covax is an international scheme cofounded by the World Health Organization (WHO) that intends to get enough vaccines for 30 percent of the population in 92 of the poorest participating territories — 20 percent in India — with donors covering the cost.
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