Biden administration to ship 11 million vaccine doses abroad

The Biden administration is shipping 9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Africa and 2 million to other regions, the White House is announcing Friday.

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff ZientsJeff ZientsThe Hill's Morning Report - Who will replace Justice Breyer? Overnight Health Care — COVID-19 deaths pass peak from delta surge US has shared 400M COVID-19 vaccine doses globally MORE will announce plans to ship 11 million doses during a health briefing Friday, according to remarks obtained by The Hill.

“Just today, we are shipping 11 million doses. Eleven million doses in one day. That’s more doses shipped by the U.S. in a single day than what all but seven other countries have delivered in total since the start of this pandemic,” Zients will say.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Of the 11 million — 9 million are shipping to Africa — bringing our total doses donated to Africa to 100 million. That’s American leadership. And we are calling on the rest of the world to step up and join us,” he will say.

The new shipments are part of an effort by the administration to accelerate vaccine shipments to increase global vaccination rates. President BidenJoe BidenCourt nixes offshore drilling leases auctioned by Biden administration Laquan McDonald's family pushes for federal charges against officer ahead of early release Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat MORE said Thursday that the administration aims to deliver 200 million doses abroad within the next 100 days.

Those doses are part of Biden’s pledge to share more than 1 billion doses worldwide, the majority of them through COVAX, the World Health Organization-backed initiative to supply lower income countries with coronavirus vaccines.

Health experts have warned that the coronavirus pandemic will not be extinguished until the global population is vaccinated, particularly given the threat of new variants emerging among unvaccinated populations. Africa, where the new omicron variant was first detected, has a continent-wide vaccination rate of under 10 percent.

Under pressure from the public health community, Biden has pledged to send some 1.2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad and has urged other wealthy countries to step up and make similar pledges.

“Let me be clear: Not a single vaccine dose America ever sends to the rest of the world will ever come at the expense of any American. I'll always make sure that our people are protected first.  But vaccinating the world is not just a moral tool, a moral obligation that we have, in my view; it's how we protect Americans, as we're seeing with this new variant,” Biden said in remarks at the National Institutes of Health on Thursday.

“America is doing our part, and we'll do more. But this is a global pandemic, and everyone needs to fight it together,” he said.