- Biden administration will send more than 200 million doses abroad in 100 days.
- WHO backed to supply lower income countries with coronavirus vaccines.
- Biden has urged international partners to ramp up vaccine donations worldwide.
United States: The Biden administration is shipping 9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Africa and 2 million to other regions, the White House announced Friday. White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced plans to ship 11 million doses during a health briefing Friday. 11 million doses in one day. That’s more doses shipped by the U.S. in a single day than what all but 7 other countries have delivered in total since the start of this pandemic,” Zients said. “Of the 11 million – 9 million are shipping to Africa – bringing our total doses donated to Africa to 100 million. And we are calling on the rest of the world to step up and join us,” he added.
The new shipments are part of an effort by the administration to accelerate vaccine shipments to increase global vaccination rates. President Biden said Thursday that the administration aims to deliver 200 million doses abroad within the next 100 days. Those doses are part of Biden’s pledge to share more than 1 billion doses worldwide, the majority of them through COVAX, and the World Health Organization-backed initiative to supply lower-income countries with coronavirus vaccines.
Africa, where the new omicron variant was first detected, has a continent-wide vaccination rate of fewer than 10%. Health experts have warned that the coronavirus pandemic will not be extinguished until the global population is vaccinated, particularly given the threat of new variants emerging among unvaccinated populations. I’ll always make sure that our people are protected first. But vaccinating the world is not just a moral tool, a moral obligation that we have, in my view; it’s how we protect Americans, as we’re seeing with this new variant,” Biden said in remarks at the National Institutes of Health on Thursday. “America is doing their part, and we’ll do more. But this is a global pandemic, and everyone needs to fight it together,” he said.