U.S. sending 1.35 million doses of J&J vaccine to Mexico overnight

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GENEVA — The United States is planning to send 1.35 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Mexico on Tuesday morning, according to a White House official, the latest example of the Biden administration’s global pandemic response in the battle against Covid-19.

It follows a promise from Vice President Kamala Harris to provide surplus doses to our Southern neighbor when she was in the country last week.

The new shipment, which will arrive at Toluca International Airport early Tuesday, comes after the U.S. directed 2.72 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Mexico in late March and early April, the official said. Mexico has had nearly 2.5 million coronavirus cases and over 230,000 deaths, according to an NBC News tally.

President Joe Biden has committed to distributing 80 million doses worldwide by the end of June. In addition to the $2 billion donated to COVAX, the global vaccination effort, the White House announced this week the U.S. would purchase another 500 million Pfizer vaccines to send them to the African Union and 92 lower and middle-income countries.

At the G-7 summit in the United Kingdom over the weekend, leaders vowed an extra 500 million doses for the world, amounting to a pledge of one billion doses.

And at the NATO summit on Monday, Biden acknowledged the more than 600,000 Americans have lost their lives to the coronavirus. He pleaded with anyone who has access to a vaccine to do so “as soon as possible,” noting that the U.S. has plenty of supply.

Boosting global vaccination rates has been a theme of his first foreign trip as president, as beating the pandemic figures into most conversations with world leaders.

The first batch of excess shots from the U.S. went to South Korea, with crates containing about one million Johnson & Johnson doses arriving in the country earlier this month.

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