The President of the United States, Joe Biden, announced this Thursday, June 3, the donation of 80 million vaccines against COVID-19 to be distributed globally.
The donated vaccines will be distributed to developing nations in regions such as Latin America, Africa and Asia, 75% of them through the international COVAX program, to which more than 180 countries are subscribed.
Through the statement in which the announcement was made, Biden stressed the absence of ulterior purposes in the donation of vaccines by his country, reported Cuban newspaper.
“We share these doses, not to obtain favors or to obtain concessions. We share these vaccines to save lives and lead the world, to end the pandemic with the power of our example and our values, ”said the US president.
According to the Reuters report, the White House also reported that for the doses to be distributed through the COVAX mechanism, Washington will prioritize countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia and Africa.
“The process of exporting the first 25 million is underway,” Jeff Zients, White House coordinator for the response to Covid-19, told reporters.
“Following the president’s commitment, 80 million doses will have been delivered by the end of June,” he added.
According to the US plan, of the first 25 million doses, about 7 million will go to Asia; especially to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and Taiwan.
Another six million will go to Central and South America and the Caribbean. Among which are Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and several Caribbean islands.
Five million were reserved for Africa and will be shared in coordination with the African Union, said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
“However, the United States will ultimately have the authority to say that the doses will go here and not there,” he added.
The remainder of more than 6 million doses, from the initial 25 million, will be sent directly to countries that are facing outbreaks or are in crisis, as well as to partners and neighbors such as South Korea, Canada and Mexico.
The COVAX system, co-founded by the World Health Organization (WHO), provides enough vaccines for 30% of the population in 92 of the world’s poorest territories. The cost is covered by donors.
This will be the first time that the US has shared vaccines approved for internal use with the rest of the world – those from Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson – as it had previously announced the shipment between May and June of 60 million doses of AstraZeneca, which still they have not been approved by US regulators.
The presidents of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, and Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as well as the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, thanked the president for the initiative.
Also the director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he was “very grateful” for Biden’s announcement to distribute doses “to protect those who are most at risk and encourage others to do the same.”
As of April, 87% of vaccines in the world have been administered in high- and middle-income countries, while impoverished nations have received only 0.2%, according to WHO data.
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