On Monday, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. will share an additional 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with the world in the coming six weeks as domestic demand for shots drops. The doses will come from existing production of Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine stocks, marking the first time that U.S.-controlled doses of vaccines authorized for use in the country will be shared overseas and boosting the global vaccine sharing commitment from the U.S. to 80 million. Biden said at the White House, “We know America will never be fully safe until the pandemic that’s raging globally is under control.”
The announcement comes on top of the Biden’s administration’s prior commitment to share about 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the U.S., by the end of June. The AstraZeneca doses will be available to ship once they clear a safety review by the Food and Drug Administration.
The Biden administration hasn’t yet said how the new commitment of vaccines will be shared or which countries will receive them. To date, the U.S. has shared about 4.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine with Canada and Mexico. Additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine manufactured in the U.S. have also begun to be exported.
The U.S. has faced growing pressure to share more of its vaccine stockpile with the world as interest in vaccines has waned domestically. More than 157 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 123 million are full vaccinated against the virus.
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