Saturday, 19 June, 2021


Biden announces worldwide COVID-19 vaccine sharing plan

US to give 80 mln vaccine doses to priority nations, 75% via Covax 1st batch of US-donated vaccines to go to India, Taiwan, others
Kristine Garrett | 05 June, 2021, 15:53

"The sharing of millions of US vaccines with other countries signals a major commitment by the USA government", the White House said in a fact sheet that called the plans "a vital component of our overall global strategy to lead the world in the fight to defeat COVID-19". "The remaining doses, just over 6 million, will be shared directly with countries experiencing surges, those in crisis, and other partners and neighbors, including Canada, Mexico, India, and the Republic of Korea", he said.

In a video conference hosted by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo on Thursday, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said China's vaccine diplomacy is creating divisions in the worldwide community, adding that the country provides its domestically manufactured vaccines and other pandemic relief aid "to those who are willing to accept political partnership with Beijing". Another 60 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca will be donated once a quality review check is completed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"The United States will be the world's arsenal of vaccines in our shared fight against this virus", he said.

The exact number of vaccines India will get was not clear. The long-awaited vaccine sharing plan comes as demand for shots in the USA has tailed off, and as global inequities in supply have become more glaring.

Among the first tranche of 25 million doses, about 7 million are allocated to Asia via the World Health Organization-led COVAX vaccine access program, the White House said.

Approximately six million for South and Central America to the following countries: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, as well as the Dominican Republic.

Another 60 million doses of AstraZeneca Plc's vaccine remains on USA shelves, despite Biden's repeated promises to export them.

The move is a watershed moment for the USA, 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. The allocation of this first tranche of donated doses reflects the desire of the United States to respond to all regions and lay the ground for increased supply and access throughout the world. The United States will not use its vaccines to secure favors from other countries. The U.S. has hundreds of millions more doses on order, both of authorized and in-development vaccines. And, our donations will prioritize countries with vaccine readiness plans that prioritize individuals at highest risk of severe disease and those working to help care for them, like health care workers. "It's a good start, and I am hoping that more doses will be made available", World Bank President David Malpass said.

Biden has committed to providing other nations with all 60 million domestically produced doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine., which has yet to be authorized for use in the USA but is widely approved around the world.

Some five million for Africa will be shared with countries that will be selected in coordination with the African Union.

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. The country is expected to soon grant approval to Pfizer and Moderna as it aims to bolster its dwindling vaccination drive.

"And the United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to global vaccination efforts that we have demonstrated at home". But the figure is an indication of the USA glut Biden has to work with.

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