The US will ship at least 10 percent of its COVID-19 vaccine supply to other countries by July in an effort to help “the globe” fight the virus, a White House adviser said Wednesday.
“By the time we get to July 4, a full 10 percent of our stock of vaccines that we’ve acquired will have been distributed to other countries at a minimum — so that’s very important as far as our commitment,” Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to President Biden’s coronavirus response team, said at a White House press conference.
He added, “The [Trump] administration prohibited that type of export. We have lifted that.”
The export plan — announced as countries such as India, Laos and Nepal report devastating infection surges — won’t take doses away from US residents, Slavitt insisted.
Officials on Wednesday stopped short of announcing which countries would receive the vaccines but noted they will receive the AstraZeneca jab. The US has millions of doses of the company’s shots, which are not approved for use here.
“We will be exporting the entire block of AstraZeneca vaccine to countries that have approved AstraZeneca,” Slavitt said.
Coronavirus vaccine shortages will likely hit dozens of developing countries as a program designed to ensure access to vulnerable populations was plagued by shipment delays, officials said last month.
Earlier this week, Pfizer began exporting COVID-19 vaccine doses made in its US plant to Mexico.
Slavitt urged Americans to get vaccinated as soon as possible to help struggling nations get the life-saving jabs faster.
“One of the benefits of everybody getting vaccinated as quickly as possible is it will allow us to do a better job in leading the way in helping the globe get their vaccines as well,” Slavitt said.