US to give 80m vaccine doses to priority nations

2021-06-04 01:41:06 GMT2021-06-04 09:41:06(Beijing Time) Sina English

AFP

In this file photo taken on April 14, 2021, health-care worker Caryn Blair (right) administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Nicolas Gonzalez Marcelino at Florida Memorial University Vaccination Site in Miami Gardens. 

US President Joe Biden unveiled his plan on Thursday for the first of 80 million coronavirus vaccine doses being distributed globally, with 75 percent of shots disbursed via the COVAX program.

In a fact sheet the White House said that for the doses shared through COVAX, Washington would prioritize countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia and Africa.

"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," Biden said in a statement.

Biden earlier pledged to export 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world by the end of June.

The commitment came amid pressure from other governments to use the United States' large vaccine surplus to help struggling nations now that significant progress has been made in rolling out vaccinations at home.

"The process to export the first 25 million is underway," White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters.

"We will deliver on the president's commitment of 80 million doses by the end of June," he said.

COVAX is an international scheme cofounded by the World Health Organization that intends to get enough vaccines for 30 percent of the population in 92 of the poorest participating territories – 20 percent in India – with donors covering the cost.

According to the US plan, of its first 25 million doses, about 7 million are allocated for Asia, especially India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea.

Some 6 million are allocated to nations in South and Central America and the Caribbean, including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Guatemala and Haiti.

Five million are reserved for Africa and will be distributed in coordination with the African Union, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said.

"But ultimately, the United States will have the authority to say the doses are going here as opposed to there," he added.

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