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US sending another 55 million Covid vaccine doses for nations in need

US sending another 55 million Covid vaccine doses for nations in need

The United States on Monday announced its plan for the next tranche of 55 million Covid vaccine doses it plans to send to countries in need.

While 51 million of the 55 million doses (75 per cent) are being distributed through the WHO-led Covax program, the remaining 14 million will be  shared with recipients the US deems as priorities.

The vaccines being shared with Covax include 14 million for Latin America and the Caribbean, approximately 16 million to Asia, and 10 million for Africa in coordination with the African Union. 

The donation will complete Washington's initial pledge of 80 million doses from its own vaccine supply, made ahead of a vow to buy 500 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine for low- and middle-income nations.

Also read:  WHO in wait-and-watch mode on whether 3rd booster shot of Covid vaccine is needed

“As we continue to fight the Covid-19 pandemic at home and work to end the pandemic worldwide, President Biden has promised that the United States will be an arsenal of vaccines for the world. Part of that plan is donating vaccines from our domestic supply, and the President has pledged 80 million doses to be allocated by the end of June,” the White House said.

The Biden-Harris Administration will not use its vaccines to secure favours from other countries, it added.

The White House said, in addition to sharing doses from its own vaccine supply, the Biden-Harris Administration is also committed to working with US manufacturers to produce more vaccines to share with the world.

 President Joe Biden had announced that the US will purchase half a billion Pfizer doses and donate them to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries and members of the African Union. 

In total, the G7+ agreed to provide an additional more than 1 billion doses starting summer 2021, it said.  

While wealthy countries are ramping up vaccinations and returning to normal, Covid cases are surging elsewhere, including in South America and Africa. Less than one per cent of Covid vaccine doses globally  ve been administered to people in low-income countries. The donations announced by the US are aimed to help these countries fight the pandemic.