The US will donate 75% of its unused COVID-19 vaccines to the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine-sharing program, President Biden said Thursday, per the AP. The White House unveiled the allocation for sharing a first 25 million doses with the world, part of its plans to share 80 million globally by the end of June. The administration says 25% will be kept in reserve for emergencies and for the US to share directly with allies and partners. Of the first tranche of 25 million doses, the White House says about 19 million will go to COVAX, with approximately 6 million for South and Central America, 7 million for Asia, and 5 million for Africa. The doses mark a substantial—and immediate—boost to the lagging COVAX effort, which to date has shared just 76 million doses with needy countries.
The remaining 6 million will be directed by the White House to US allies and partners, including Mexico, Canada, South Korea, West Bank and Gaza, India, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as for United Nations frontline workers. “As long as this pandemic is raging anywhere in the world, the American people will still be vulnerable,” 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.” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the US “will retain the say in terms of where" the doses distributed through COVAX ultimately go. But "we’re not seeking to extract concessions, we’re not extorting, we’re not imposing conditions the way that other countries who are providing doses are doing." (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)