President Biden announced on Thursday that the United States plans to send 80 million COVID-19 vaccines overseas to India, Gaza, the West Bank, and other nations “facing crises.”
“Today, we’re providing more detail on how we will allocate the first 25 million of those vaccines to lay the ground for increased global coverage and to address real and potential surges, high burdens of disease, and the needs of the most vulnerable countries,” Biden said in a statement.
“At least 75 percent of these doses — nearly 19 million — will be shared through COVAX, including approximately 6 million doses for Latin America and the Caribbean, approximately 7 million for South and Southeast Asia, and approximately 5 million for Africa, working in coordination with the African Union and the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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,” the President said on Thursday.
Jeff Zients, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said that only FDA-approved Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson would be distributed.
COVAX or COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access is led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization. It is a “collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 test, treatments, and vaccines,” according to the WHO’s website.
“We are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions. 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,” President Biden said.
“We’re not asking anything of the people of Gaza and West Bank, but we feel that given what they are dealing with in the situation on the ground there, it is only right and proper and good for the United States to actually allocate some doses to that country,” Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser, said.
President Biden wants 70% of American adults to be vaccinated by July 4.
“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. It’s both the right thing to do and an important step in protecting Americans by helping to stamp out the virus. The president has committed that the U.S. will be an arsenal for vaccines,” Zients said at Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing.