The US government outlines plan to send 25 million #COVID19 shots to the world.
The US is also releasing some vaccine makers from their obligations to prioritize supplying the US before others.
The White House, besieged with requests from other nations to share excess doses of coronavirus vaccine, on Thursday announced it will distribute an initial 25 million doses this month across a “wide range of countries” within Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa, as well as the war-ravaged Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank.
The 25 million represent an initial tranche of a total of 80 million doses President Biden has pledged to send overseas by the end of this month. Three quarters of the first batch will be given to the international vaccine effort known as Covax, officials said. The rest will be reserved for “immediate needs and to help with surges around the world,” they said, including in India and Iraq as well as the West Bank and Gaza.
Thursday’s announcement comes a week before Mr. Biden leaves for Cornwall, England, to meet with the heads of state of the Group of Seven Nations, where the global vaccine supply is certain to be a topic of discussion. Officials said the administration would continue to donate additional doses throughout the summer as they become available.
“This is just the beginning,” Jeff Zients, Mr. Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator, told reporters at a White House news conference on the virus. “Expect a regular cadence of shipments around the world, across the next several weeks.”
While China and Russia have used vaccine donations as an instrument of diplomacy in an effort to extract favors from other nations, Mr. Biden has insisted the United States will not do that — a point that Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, emphasized on Thursday.
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