WASHINGTON — The White House announced on Thursday its plan to assist countries struggling with a shortage Covid-19 vaccines.
The White House will be sending out 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, which 19 million will be shared through the international aid organization COVAX. The doses will be sent to countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean, including Brazil and Haiti. Another 7 million will go to Asian nations, including India.
The United States will send 6 million doses to governments that have requested doses, which includes Mexico, Canada, Korea, the West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen.
“To be clear, our approach is to ensure vaccines are delivered in a way that is equitable and follows the latest science of public health data across the coming weeks,” White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zients said on Thursday. “The administration will move as expeditiously as possible and work through regulatory requirements and logistical details to ensure safe and secure delivery of doses. It is certainly a complex operational challenge.”
The doses are the first to be sent out of the 80 million President Joe Biden promised to send overseas by the end of June. Zients said 1 million doses would be sent to outh Korea Thursday night.
“We are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions,” Biden said in a statement. “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 has committed to making sure every American who wants to get vaccinated is able to. However, with half of all adults fully vaccinated and demand for the shots going down, the U.S. has the excess supply. As of this writing, 70 million doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have not been administered.
“Our overarching aim is to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible. It’s as simple as that,” said national security adviser Jake Sullivan. “We want to save lives and thwart variants that place all of us at risk. But perhaps most important, this is just the right thing to do.”