US president Jose Biden is expected to announce this Thursday Washington's plan for the distribution of 80 million coronavirus vaccines globally. The announcement was done by Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Costa Rica.
I want you to know as well that in a few short days... possibly as early as tomorrow, the president is going to announce in more detail, the plan that he's put together to push out 80 million vaccines, around the world, said Blinken at a gathering at the US Embassy in Costa Rica.
The US has said it will send at least some of its donated doses to the Covax initiative, the World Health Organization-backed effort to buy and distribute vaccines to low- and middle-income nations. The US has been consulting with Covax on its plan.
The US announcement will stop short of the full 80 million doses President Joe Biden said he'll share this month. Instead, it will focus on the US supply of shots made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, which are authorized for use. The president has said the US will donate at least 20 million of those by the end of June.
Biden has also pledged to donate 60 million AstraZeneca vaccines by the end of June, but those efforts have been hamstrung by a Food and Drug Administration safety review. The president won't ship out the AstraZeneca doses until they are cleared by the FDA.
The US administration earlier agreed to loan 4.2 million doses of vaccines to Mexico and Canada. Those are the only US-owned doses that have been sent abroad. Meanwhile in the US, 297 million vaccine doses have been given so far. In the past week, an average of 1.1 million doses per day were administered, down significantly from just several weeks ago.
About 62.9% of US adults had received at least one dose as of Wednesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Biden has set a target of 70% by July 4.
President Biden has said he will not use the vaccines as a diplomatic tool, and he has criticized China and Russia for bartering doses for gain. We'll share these vaccines in the service of ending the pandemic everywhere. And we will not use our vaccines to secure favors from other countries, Biden said on May 17.