Biden to boost world vaccine sharing commitment to 80 million doses

17 May 2021, 18:54

US President Joe Biden
Biden. Picture: PA

The US government has yet to announce how the vaccines will be shared or which countries will receive them.

President Joe Biden will announce that the US will share an additional 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines with the world in the coming six weeks, the White House said.

The doses would come from existing US production of Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine stocks, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said more details would be released in the coming days.

It comes on top of the Biden administration’s prior commitment to share about 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorised for use in the US, by the end of June.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki
White House press secretary Jen Psaki (AP/Evan Vucci)

“Our nation’s going to be the arsenal of vaccines for the rest of the world,” Mr Biden said.

He added that, compared to other countries like Russia and China that have sought to leverage their domestically produced doses, “we will not use our vaccines to secure favours from other countries”.

The AstraZeneca doses will be available to ship once they clear a safety review by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Biden administration has yet to announce how the vaccines will be shared or which countries will receive them.

To date, the US has shared about 4.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine with Canada and Mexico.

The US has faced growing pressure to share more of its vaccine stockpile with the world as interest in vaccines has waned domestically.

More than 157 million Americans have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 123 million are full vaccinated against the virus.

Mr Biden hopes the US will have 160 million people fully vaccinated by July 4.

Globally, more than 3.3 million people are confirmed to have died from the coronavirus.

The US has seen the largest confirmed loss of life from Covid-19, at more than 586,000 people.

By Press Association