United States to send 13m vaccines to South Asia, other regions

  • United States to send 13m vaccines to South Asia, other regions

United States to send 13m vaccines to South Asia, other regions

At least three-quarters of all donated doses will be distributed through COVAX - prioritizing South Asia, Southeast Asia and certain other regions - while up to 25% will go directly to such places as countries in need and their neighbors.

While the United States diplomat did not provide any calendar dates on the succeeding arrival of vaccines, he, however, assured that the Philippines will see in the very near future an additional arrival of some Pfizer vaccines through the COVAX facility.

"The [Biden] administration will pursue several additional measures beyond our robust funding for COVAX: Donating from the USA vaccine supply to the world and encouraging other nations to do the same, working with United States manufacturers to increase vaccine production for the rest of the world, and helping more countries expand their own capacity to produce vaccines including through support for global supply chains", the White House said.

Philanthropist Bill Gates said: "High-income countries have reserved more vaccines than they need".

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. By far, India has administered almost 22 crore doses of its approved coronavirus vaccines.

The United States' overall plan is to send 80 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world by the end of June, hence more similar shipments will be made. But 25 percent of America's surplus will be kept in reserve for emergencies at home and to share directly with allies and partners.

The administration was committed to bringing the same urgency to worldwide vaccination efforts that it demonstrated at home, he added.

The announcements, ranging from $2,500 from island nation Mauritius to millions of dollars and doses from wealthier countries, came during a video summit hosted by Japan and the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, which leads the COVAX facility alongside the World Health Organization. "These are doses being donated free and clear to these countries for the sole goal of improving the public health situation", he said.

Approximately six million will be targeted toward regional priorities and partner recipients, including Mexico, Canada, and the Republic of Korea, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, India, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as for United Nations frontline workers. "We shouldn't tie the distribution or access to vaccines to politics or to geopolitics", he said.

Vice President Kamala Harris informed some US partners they will begin receiving doses, in separate calls with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago.

So without compromising their own domestic vaccination efforts, these countries can be part of the effort to accelerate global vaccine access by sharing the excess doses.

The United States has been heavily criticized for vaccine hoarding, as the second-biggest manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccines in the world, but until recently, refusing to allow any doses to be exported.

The president has also promised to share 20 million doses from existing production of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine stocks. 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.

The 25 million doses would be delivered quickly, with some going out as soon as Thursday, the White House said. The United States will not use its vaccines to secure favors from other countries. The U.S. -produced doses have been held up for export by an ongoing safety review by the Food and Drug Administration, said Zients.

"The initial tranche of at least 25 million doses, the Philippines will be included".

However, Bruce Aylward said on Friday that only a small portion of those doses will be available in the short-term in June, July and August when they can make a difference in slowing the pace of infections in the global pandemic. "I expressed to her our appreciation in the name of the people of Mexico", he wrote.

The country has been in talks with drugmakers including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna on possibly manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines locally. It has also sold many more: 732 million doses in all, including nearly 291 million to the Asia-Pacific and slightly more than 281 million to Latin America.