The U.S. Government has promised to donate 80 million COVID-19 vaccines by the end of June to help countries battling the coronavirus pandemic.
The donation will include 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines previously announced and an additional 20 million doses of other U.S. authorized vaccines of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, after the U.S takes delivery of enough of vaccines to protect everyone in that country.
That represents 13 percent of the vaccines produced by the United States by the end of June.
This amounts to five times more than what Russia and China together have donated – 15 million doses – for global use.
The U.S. will continue to donate from the excess supply of vaccines as they are delivered to the Government, President Joe Biden said.
Announcing the U.S. initiative, the President said, “Just as in World War II, America was the arsenal of democracy, in this battle against COVID-19 pandemic, our nation will be the arsenal of vaccines.”
Biden said that while “there’s a lot of talk about Russia and China influencing the world with vaccines,” the United States will not use its vaccines to secure favors from other countries.
He vowed that Washington will work with COVAX — an international initiative set up to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines — and other partners to ensure that the vaccines are delivered in a way that is equitable and that follows the science and the public health data.
Biden said that over the coming weeks, the U.S. will use its leadership working with its G7 partners, the EU, COVAX, and others to coordinate a multilateral effort focused on ending the pandemic. He expects to announce progress in this area at the G7 Summit in the United Kingdom in June.
“What we need to do is lead an entirely new effort that involves working with the pharmaceutical companies and others and partner nations to vastly increase supply, to create the kind of capacity that can beat this pandemic worldwide in a way that creates jobs here at home and saves lives abroad,” he told reporters.
AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized for use in the United States yet, and they will be sending it to other countries once the FDA certifies its safety.
In March, the U.S. had shared more than 4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine with Canada and Mexico.
Separately, the White House said the Department of Treasury is working with the management of the International Monetary Fund and other members toward a $650 billion general allocation of Special Drawing Rights to IMF member countries to support the global recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
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