US – Joe Biden announces International vaccine sharing plan
President Joe Biden announced that the US will allocate 75 percent – nearly 1.9 crore of the first tranche of 2.5 crore doses – of unused COVID-19 vaccines from its stockpile through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing programme to countries in South and Southeast Asia as well as Africa as part of his administration’s framework for sharing 80 million (8 crore) vaccines globally by the end of June.
The Biden administration has been under pressure to provide other hard-hit nations with some of its abundant supply and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said at a White House briefing that some of the initial doses would go to India, Gaza and the West Bank and other nations and areas he said were “facing crises.”
The United States on Thursday announced it will send 6 million of the first lot of 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to India, Mexico, Canada and South Korea, saying “it’s only the beginning”.
On Wednesday, Canada doubled its financial commitment to $440 million to help COVAX buy doses directly from manufacturers. But Canada and the United Kingdom are the only two G7 countries which bought doses from COVAX as well as donated money to buy doses for lower income nations. They are also the only two not donating doses to it yet.
COVAX said last week it needed donations of 190 million doses to cover a shortfall this month after India stopped exporting vaccines to address a massive outbreak there. About 10 nations have offered up to 181.5 million doses by the end of the year, including the 19 million the U.S. will ship in June.