President Joe Biden presented his plan for the first of 80 million coronavirus vaccine doses that the US will share globally before July, with the Covax programme accounting for 75 percent of the shots.
The White House stated in a fact sheet that the doses given through Covax would be prioritised for countries in Latin America, Caribbean, South, Southeast Asia, and Africa in order to help prevent further outbreaks.
In a statement, Biden stated, “We are disclosing these doses not to earn favours or extract concessions.”
“With the force of our example and our principles, we are providing these vaccines to save lives and to lead the world in putting an end to the pandemic.”
Biden promised to ship 60 million Covid-19 vaccine shots to countries around the world earlier this year, then increased the number to 80 million.
Other governments have pressed the US to share its enormous vaccine surplus to help suffering countries now that great progress has been achieved in implementing immunizations at home.
“The first 25 million are in the process of being exported,” White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters.
Covax is a global initiative co-founded by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the vaccination alliance Gavi to provide immunizations to 30 percent of the population in 92 of the world’s poorest countries, including 20 percent in India, with donors bearing the costs.
“This agreement helps us to quickly get more doses to nations amid a pressured global supply situation,” Gavi’s chief executive Seth Berkley said, “and progress towards ending the acute phase of the pandemic.”
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, joined in, saying he was “extremely thankful” of the US stance.
US announces plan to share Covid-19 vaccine doses with the world
Around seven million of the first 25 million doses are earmarked for Asia, including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Vietnam, according to the US plan.
Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Haiti are among the countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean to get $6 million.
According to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, five million doses have been set aside for Africa and will be dispersed in collaboration with the African Union.
The remaining six million doses will be distributed directly to countries experiencing surges or in crisis, as well as neighbours Canada and Mexico, as well as “partner recipients” like South Korea, Ukraine, Gaza, and Iraq.