US announces plans to allocate 55 million doses to be shared globally

Henrietta Strickland
June 22, 2021

Earlier this month also, the U.S. government had announced vaccine support to Nepal among other countries.

The administration official said the USA still plans to send AstraZeneca vaccines overseas once they've been cleared. Of the 25 million doses previously announced for donation nearly three weeks ago, about 5 million have been shipped to Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan.

The White House outlined a plan on Monday to allocate 55 million doses of coronavirus vaccine around the world, the remainder of 80 million doses that President Biden pledged to send by the end of June to countries desperate for vaccine.

"We have plenty of doses to share with the world, but this is a Herculean logistical challenge", she told reporters, noting safety and regulatory information had to be shared, proper storage temperatures for the vaccines had to be ensured, and language barriers at times had to be overcome. The president sketched out his priorities for the first 25 million doses from that pledge earlier this month.

Most of those are being donated to poorer countries, where Covax hopes to distribute enough vaccines to protect at least 20% of the populations.

The delay has been due in part to a stockpile of 60 million AstraZeneca doses that he'd planned to donate, and that were meant to make up the bulk of the 80 million and begin shipping in May. "We will move as expeditiously as possible, while abiding by U.S. and host country regulatory and legal requirements, to facilitate the safe and secure transport of vaccines across worldwide borders", a White House statement said.

The announcement, however, dials back the initial USA commitment.

Other recipients will include Ukraine, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, Iraq and the West Bank.

About 16 million will head to Asian countries, including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Maldives, Taiwan and Cambodia.

While the exact allocation for India has not been spelt out yet, the country is likely to get not more than 1 million or 2 million doses in the second tranche of the 55 million doses, according to initial estimates.

The White House did not specify on Monday which vaccines it would be sharing, but people familiar with the operation have said the administration is working to swap shots made by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for AstraZeneca's.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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