Biden says he intends to share coronavirus vaccine doses with India

Biden says he intends to share coronavirus vaccine doses with India
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President BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE said Tuesday that it is his “hope and expectation” to share coronavirus vaccine doses with India and other countries in need but did not lay out a timetable for when his administration would begin sharing doses.

Biden noted that he spoke with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about sharing vaccine doses during their phone call on Monday.

“I’ve discussed with him when we’ll be able to send actual vaccines to India, which will be my intention to do,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday when asked about what his administration was doing to assist India. 

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"The problem is right now we will have to make sure we have other vaccines like Novavax and others coming on, probably, and I think we’ll be in a position to be able to share vaccines as well as knowhow with other countries who are in real need. That is the hope and expectation," he said.

“And I might add, when we were in a bind in the very beginning, India helped us,” Biden added.

The Biden administration announced Monday that it would donate some 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to other countries as it came under increasing pressure from lawmakers and health experts to do so.

The White House said the doses would not be released immediately because they would need to undergo safety reviews by the Food and Drug Administration.

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Biden's winter COVID-19 strategy Biden lays out multi-pronged plan to deal with evolving pandemic White House defends travel ban on African countries MORE told reporters at a briefing Tuesday afternoon that roughly 10 million doses would be released in “the next couple of weeks” if the FDA clears them, and 50 million in “several months.”

Psaki said that members of the White House coronavirus and national security teams would evaluate where to send doses based on requests, need and where they would have the most impact.

“There is a process ongoing now,” Psaki told reporters.

The Biden administration also said over the weekend that it would send test kits, protective equipment, oxygen generation supplies and raw materials for making the vaccine to India as it experiences a massive surge in coronavirus cases, something that Biden emphasized on Tuesday.

“I spoke at length with Modi, the prime minister. We are sending immediately a whole series of help that he needs including providing for those — remdesivir and other drugs that are able to deal with this,” Biden said. “Secondly, we are sending the actual mechanical parts that are needed for the machinery they have to build a vaccine.”