US President Joe Biden has announced that the United States will be donating 75% of its unused vaccine doses to the Covax global vaccine sharing programme. An initial 25 million vaccine doses will be shared with the world through the UN-backed vaccine sharing plan but the US plans to share 80 million doses by the end of June.
The first 25 million doses will be shared across Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. In relation to the situation Biden stated, “As the United States continues our efforts to get every eligible American vaccinated and fight Covid-19 here at home, we also recognize that ending this pandemic means ending it everywhere” while adding that “As long as this pandemic is raging anywhere in the world, the American people will still be vulnerable. And the United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccine efforts that we have demonstrated at home,”.
The Biden administration stated that 25% of the vaccine doses will be kept in reserve for emergencies and for sharing with allies and partners. The US vaccine contribution is quite a substantial contribution to Covax, which has shared just 76 million doses with poorer countries.
According to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the US will retain its say on which countries its shared doses are delivered to while adding, “We’re not seeking to extract concessions, we’re not extorting, we’re not imposing conditions the way that other countries who are providing doses are doing; we’re doing none of those things,”.
The vaccine sharing plan comes as more than 63% of adults in America have received at least one vaccine dose which has led to a reduction in US vaccine demand.
The US also announced plans to ship one million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses to South Korea to vaccinate the country’s 550,000 troops who served with American soldiers on the peninsula.
Biden stated that 60 million domestically approved doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has yet to be authorised for use in the US, will be delivered to other nations.