The White House has laid out its plan to share 55 million COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad, with most of the allocation being made to countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.
The Biden administration said on Monday that most of the doses would be shared through the COVAX international vaccine-sharing program, which fulfills President Joe Biden’s commitment to share 80 million US-made vaccines with countries around the world.
The administration may fall short of its pledge to share vaccines by the end of June due to regulatory and other hurdles, the Associated Press reported on Monday. Officials quoted by the news agency say the vaccine dose is ready, but it is being delayed because of legal, logistical and regulatory requirements in both the United States and recipient countries.
Biden laid out his plan for the first 25 million doses earlier this month. On Monday, the White House revealed plans for the remaining 55 million shots, including 14 million for Latin America and the Caribbean, 16 million for Asia and about 10 million for Africa.
Another 14 million doses are being shared with “regional priorities” including Colombia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, South Africa, the West Bank and Gaza.
The United States has already started delivering vaccine doses to Taiwan, Mexico, Canada and South Korea.
“We have enough supplies to deliver 80 million doses,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at Monday’s press briefing. “Our biggest challenge is logistics, the fact that there is no playbook for this and there are challenges as it relates to getting these supplements to every country.”
In addition, President Biden announced earlier this month that the US would buy 500 million vaccine doses from drugmaker Pfizer and distribute them around the world in the coming year.
The United States has spare vaccine doses and demand for COVID vaccines begins to fall after more than 177 million Americans have received at least one shot.
The White House said in a statement on Monday that the United States “will not use its vaccines to gain advantage from other countries.” It said US goals for the program include increasing global COVID-19 vaccination coverage, preparing for the surge, and helping “our neighbors and other countries in need”.