President Joe Biden on Tuesday said that by Independence Day the U.S. will have sent about 10% of the coronavirus vaccines it produced to other countries.
“It’s a big humanitarian commitment additionally to our funding of COVAX, and I’ll have more to mention that soon,” Biden said, pertaining to the planet Health Organization-led initiative to supply equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
An administration official told CNN that the figure was a regard to the 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, which has not yet been authorized to be used within the U.S., that the administration already pledged to send to other countries, including Canada and Mexico.
Andy Slavitt, White House senior adviser for COVID-19 response, tweeted: “By Independence Day , 10% of vaccines produced for domestic use are going to be exported to other countries. this is often additionally to vaccines manufactured here for export.”
The comments come as India faces the worst coronavirus outbreak the planet has seen so far and Western countries face mounting pressure to try to to more to assist .
Biden said he spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is sending him “what he needs most,” which is that the material and parts for machines to form vaccines.
The president added that his administration is prepared to act if the Food and Drug Administration authorizes Pfizer’s request to expand use of its COVID-19 vaccine to 12- to-15-year-olds, which it’s expected to try to to by early next week.
“Today, i would like American parents to understand that if that announcement comes, we are able to move immediately – immediately move to form about 20,000 pharmacy sites across the country able to vaccinate those adolescents as soon because the FDA grants it’s OK,” Biden said on Tuesday.
Some experts have questioned the morality of expanding vaccinations to younger people while other countries lack enough vaccines to hide their most vulnerable populations.
“From an ethical perspective, we should always not be prioritizing people like them over people in countries like India,” Rupali Limaye, a Johns Hopkins University researcher who studies vaccine use and hesitancy, told The ny Times about adolescents.