The United States on Thursday unveiled plans to share 25 million of its COVID-19 vaccines across the borders, with nearly six million doses targeted towards “regional priorities and partner recipients,” including Canada and Mexico, among others.
“We first made doses available to our closest neighbors – Canada and Mexico. Our dose sharing approach prioritizes Latin American and the Caribbean on a per capita basis,” the White House said in a statement.
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Other beneficiaries of the priority group include the Republic of Korea, the West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen and United Nations front-line workers.
The White House has previously stated its intent to share 80 million vaccine doses with the world by the end of June.
The administration said 25 per cent of doses will be kept in reserve for emergencies and for the U.S. to share directly with allies and partners, while 75 per cent of the excess doses will go to the U.N.-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program.
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The much-awaited vaccine sharing plan comes as demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. dipped significantly with over 63 per cent of adults having received at least one shot.
“This vaccine strategy is a vital component of our overall global strategy to lead the world in the fight to defeat COVID-19, including emergency public health assistance and aid to stop the spread and building global public health capacity and readiness to beat not just this pandemic, but the next one,” the statement further said.
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While this approach may “take time,” U.S. President Joe Biden has directed the administration “to use all the levers of the U.S. government to protect individuals from this virus as quickly as possible,” the statement said.
“The specific vaccines and amounts will be determined and shared as the Administration works through the logistical, regulatory and other parameters particular to each region and country.”
— With files from The Associated Press
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