USA to swiftly boost global vaccine sharing, Biden announces
Jun 05 2021
The move is a watershed moment for the US, which secured the first hundreds of millions of doses made on its soil for domestic use but intends to be an engine of vaccine production globally. They will save lives and help with the world's recovery and I thank the President and his administration for hearing the pleas that I and others made for sharing vaccines with these other countries.
Although the United States is working through COVAX co-run by the World Health Organization, the White House retains final say in which countries receive USA doses and how many, said national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
This vaccine strategy is a vital component of our overall global strategy to lead the world in the fight to defeat Covid-19, including emergency public health assistance and aid to stop the spread and building global public health capacity and readiness to beat not just this pandemic, but the next one.
Soon, the doses that some Americans shun will be diverted overseas, where they will be appreciated by those who are desperate to be inoculated in order to have their lives return to something approaching normalcy.
The doses mark a substantial boost to the lagging COVAX campaign, which so far has administered only 76 million inoculations worldwide to those in need.
Congresswoman Grace Meng commended the Biden Administration for unveiling the United States' plan to share COVID-19 vaccines with other nations, including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other countries in Asia.
For doses shared through Covax, the United States will prioritize Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa in coordination with the African Union. Just like in the United States, we will move as expeditiously as possible, while abiding by USA and host country regulatory and legal requirements, to facilitate the safe and secure transport of vaccines across global borders.
According to the White House, 75 percent of the 80 million doses are expected to be allocated through the United Nations -backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program, with priority placed on supplying regions including Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa. "These are doses being donated free and clear to these countries for the sole objective of improving the public health situation", he said.
Approximately 6 million doses will be targeted toward regional priorities and partners including Canada, Mexico and South Korea as well as Gaza, where Palestinians have recently suffered heavy Israeli bombing, according to the White House.
A vaccine created by AstraZeneca has yet to earn United States authorization.
At Thursday's COVID-19 briefing following the announcement, Zients said, "As the days get brighter and brighter at home, we're focused on driving progress to help the pandemic - help end the pandemic around the globe".
The Associated Press reports that scores of nations have requested doses from the United States - but so far only Canada and Mexico have received any directly from the U.S. - with both nations sharing a total of 4.5 million doses.
US-based vaccine manufacturers such as Pfizer and Moderna have European branches and are producing vaccines there for European distribution. The U.S. has also announced plans to share enough shots with South Korea to vaccinate its 550,000 troops who serve alongside American service members on the peninsula.
He emphasized Biden's point that the U.S.is not "extorting or asking concessions or imposing conditions", and included an apparent slight, "the way other countries who are providing doses are doing". The United States will not use its vaccines to secure favors from other countries. The U.S. -produced doses will be available to ship as soon as they clear a safety review by the Food and Drug Administration.
The White House says the initial 25 million doses announced Thursday will be shipped from existing federal stockpiles of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
On Tuesday, the drug regulator waived the requirement to conduct post-launch bridging trials for foreign-made coronavirus vaccines, in a move that is expected to bolster the availability of shots.
Mexico's President Lopez Obrador said via Twitter that VP Harris had informed him of the White House decision to send one million shots of the J & J vaccine.
Guatemalan President Giammettei stated that Harris had told him that the USA would be sending a total of 500,000 doses of the precious vaccines.