Shomporko Online News Desk: The US announced plans to spread 25 million of its COVID-19 vaccinations across international boundaries, with over six million doses destined for “regional priorities and partner recipients,” such as Canada and Mexico on Thursday.
It’s unclear how many doses would be provided to Canada, whether the government would accept them, or which vaccine would be given at this time.
“We started by giving doses to our closest neighbors, Canada and Mexico. On a per-capita basis, our dosage sharing policy prioritizes Latin America and the Caribbean,” the White House said in a statement.
Other beneficiaries of the priority group include the Republic of Korea, the West Bank, and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, and United Nations front-line workers.
The White House has previously stated its intent to share 80 million vaccine doses with the world by the end of June.
The administration said 25 per cent of doses will be kept in reserve for emergencies and for the U.S. to share directly with allies and partners, while 75 per cent of the excess doses will go to the U.N.-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program.
The much-awaited vaccine sharing plan comes as demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. dipped significantly with over 63 per cent of adults have received at least one shot.
Nearly 19 million doses will now be shared through COVAX, with close to six million vaccines allocated for South and Central America, to countries including, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, and other Caribbean Community countries, as well as the Dominican Republic.
Another seven million doses will go to Asia to countries like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, and the Pacific Islands.
“This vaccine strategy is a vital component of our overall global strategy to lead the world in the fight to defeat COVID-19, including emergency public health assistance and aid to stop the spread and building global public health capacity and readiness to beat not just this pandemic, but the next one,” the statement further said.
It also mentioned that the U.S. “will not use its vaccines to secure favors from other countries,” and their donations will target countries with vaccine readiness plans “that prioritize individuals at highest risk of severe disease and those working to help care for them”.
While this approach may “take time,” U.S. President Joe Biden has directed the administration “to use all the levers of the U.S. government to protect individuals from this virus as quickly as possible,” the statement said.
“The specific vaccines and amounts will be determined and shared as the Administration works through the logistical, regulatory and other parameters particular to each region and country.”
As of now, Canada and the United Kingdom are the only two G7 nations not donating vaccines directly to COVAX and taking doses from the alliance through the self-financing mechanism.