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The US will send 25 million vaccine doses to countries in Central and South America, Asia and Africa.
"This is just the beginning," White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said.
Shipments will take place over the next several weeks.
The United States will send 25 million excess COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries all over the world, the White House announced Thursday.
Nearly 19 million of the doses will be given through COVAX, the UN-backed global vaccine sharing program that helps vulnerable countries.
In total, 7 million of those doses will be donated to nations in South and Southeast Asia, including India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Philippines, and Vietnam. Another 6 million doses will be shipped across Central and South America, including to Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, and El Salvador. Approximately 5 million doses will be delivered to countries in Africa, coordinated through the African Union.
The remaining 6 million doses will be given directly to allies and countries seeing surges in COVID-19 cases, including Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Egypt, Iraq, and the West Bank and Gaza, the White House said.
"As long as this pandemic is raging anywhere in the world, the American people will still be vulnerable," President Joe Biden said in a statement. "And the United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts that we have demonstrated at home."
"This is just the beginning," White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said during a Thursday briefing. The doses will consist of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, Zients confirmed.
Vaccine shipments will take place over the next several weeks. The US plans to share a total of 80 million excess doses with the rest of the world by the end of June - five times the amount any other country has committed to donating, according to the White House.
"A number of those are even going to go out as soon as today," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a news conference Thursday.
-Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) June 3, 2021
The White House reiterated that the US has secured enough supply to fully vaccinate Americans and the doses that will be shipped come from a surplus in the US stockpile.
The announcement comes ahead of Biden's meeting in the United Kingdom with the Group of Seven nations next week. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan noted on Thursday that the US plans to work with those countries to help end the pandemic.
"Our goal in sharing our vaccines is in service of ending the pandemic globally," Sullivan said during a White House coronavirus task force briefing Thursday. "Our overarching aim is to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible."
Read the original article on Business Insider