US to share at least 20 million more Covid vaccines with other countries

Joe Biden has said his administration will send at least 20 million doses of US-authorized Covid vaccines to other countries in the coming weeks, promising to provide an “arsenal of vaccines for the rest of the world.”

In a speech to the White House on Monday, the US president said the government would share “at least” 20 million doses of BioNTech / Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines with the rest of the world by the end of June, in addition to them 60m of doses AstraZeneca vaccine already started in other countries.

The Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J injections have been approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration, while the AstraZeneca vaccine is still pending approval. Biden said the doses of that jab will be exported once they receive the green light from the regulator.

“Over the next six weeks, the United States of America will send 80 million doses overseas,” Biden said. “It will be more vaccines than any country has actually shared to date, five times more than any other country. More than Russia and China, which gave 15 million doses. “

He added, “We want to run the world with our values, with this demonstration of our innovation, our ingenuity, and the basic decency of the American people.”

Biden did not specify which countries would receive the doses, but said he had enlisted Jeff Zients, coordinator of the White House Covid-19 task force, to lead the effort.

“We will share these vaccines in the service of ending the pandemic everywhere, and we will not use our vaccines to curry favor with other countries,” Biden said, adding that the announcement was part of a larger effort. of the United States to “respond” to the pandemic. around the world.

“We need to help fight disease around the world to keep us safe here at home, and do what it takes to help others,” the president said.

Biden had said previously that the United States would only share surplus vaccines when there were enough vaccines to meet American demand, despite calls from some world leaders and health officials to provide more assistance to countries struggling to obtain enough vaccines.

“By the end of June, when we have received enough of these vaccines to protect everyone in the United States, the United States will share at least 20 million of these doses, this additional supply, with other countries, ”Biden said.

Almost 40 percent of the U.S. population is now vaccinated, although request is starting to decline in some parts of the country.

Biden’s announcement came a week after the FDA extended its emergency clearance for vaccinations to be administered 12 to 15 years old. The president said the latest official figures showed 60% of Americans would have received at least one stroke from Covid-19 by Tuesday.

“We still have tens of millions of people to be vaccinated. But we are making significant progress, ”he said. “Every day the light at the end of this tunnel gets brighter and brighter.”

The president also referred to the recent shift in focus from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said last week that fully vaccinated people could leave. without masks for almost all indoor and outdoor environments.

The sudden change has led to confusion, especially in cities and states where local laws still require face covers, or businesses have their own masking policies.

Biden urged people on Monday to be “kind and respectful to each other as they come out of this pandemic, and to respect those who want to continue wearing a mask, even if they have been vaccinated.”

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