Representational Image| Reuters
Washington: The US has announced its plan to allocate 5.5 crore doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the rest of the world as the second tranche, including 1.6 core jabs to 18 Asian nations such as India, Pakistan and Nepal, as part of the Biden administration's bid to end the pandemic globally.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced the plan for the first 2.50 crore vaccine doses that the US has already started shipping.
Of the 55 million (5.50 crore) vaccine doses announced on Monday as the second tranche, 16 million (1.60 crore) has been allocated for 18 Asian nations such as India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives and Bhutan.
The White House fact sheet on Monday did not provide exact figures for how many doses would be sent to each country. It only gave estimates for regions in general.
The Biden-Harris administration has so far allocated 80 million doses of America's own vaccine supply which President Joe Biden had pledged to allocate by the end of June as part of its efforts to end the pandemic globally.
“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 (8 cr) doses to be allocated by the end of June,” the White House said.
For these 8 crore doses, the US will share 75 per cent through COVAX and 25 per cent will be targeted to help deal with surges around the world.
“Our goals are to increase global COVID-19 vaccination coverage, prepare for surges and prioritise healthcare workers and other vulnerable populations based on public health data and acknowledged best practice, and help our neighbours and other countries in need,” the White House said.
The Biden-Harris administration will not use its vaccines to secure favours from other countries, it asserted.
Of the 4.10 crore to be shared through COVAX, 1.40 crore will go to Latin America and the Caribbean nations and 1.60 crore to Asia.
The doses will consist of Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines. AstraZeneca's vaccine has not been approved by federal regulators, CNN reported.
Among the Asian countries include India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Cambodia, and the Pacific Islands.
Another 100,000 crore jabs will be shared with African nations.
The White House said approximately 14 million (1.4 cr) or 25 per cent of these 55 million (5.5 cr) vaccines will be shared with regional priorities and other recipients, such as Colombia, Argentina, Haiti, other CARICOM countries, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Cabo Verde, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Oman, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova, and Bosnia.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a regional grouping of Caribbean countries that includes Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Haiti, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The White House said, in addition to sharing doses from its own vaccine supply, the government is also committed to working with US manufacturers to produce more vaccines to share with the world.
To that end, ahead of the G7, Biden 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 100 crore doses starting summer 2021, the White House said.
“In addition, the US is committed to expanding local production of vaccines, and through our Quad partnership and the International Development Finance Corporation's support for vaccine manufacturing, more than 1 billion (100 cr) doses will be produced in Africa and India in 2021 and 2022,” it said.
“This vaccine strategy is a vital component of our overall global effort to lead the world in the fight to defeat COVID-19 and to achieve global health security,” the White House said.