Blinken says US will soon announce process to distribute 80 million vaccines globally
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. will soon announce the process for how it will distribute 80 million coronavirus vaccine doses across the world.
Speaking during a joint press conference Tuesday with Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado, Blinken said an announcement would be made in the coming weeks regarding how the domestically authorized doses will be sent out across the globe.
“I think you heard President Biden a couple of weeks ago announce that we will be making available globally about 80 million vaccine doses that we have access to between now and the end of June. And in the next week or so — sometime in the next week to two weeks — we will be announcing the process by which we will distribute those vaccines, what the criteria are, how we will do it,” Blinken said.
“And among other things, we will focus on equity, on the equitable distribution of vaccines; we’ll focus on science; we’ll work in coordination with COVAX; and we will distribute vaccines without political requirements of those receiving them,” he added, referencing the worldwide initiative that promotes equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The announcement comes after President Biden said in May that the U.S. will share an additional 20 million doses of domestically authorized coronavirus vaccines with the rest of the world by the end of June. The shipment will consist of the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, the only three shots authorized for use in the U.S.
That figure adds to the 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses the administration had already committed to exporting.
Biden said last month that the 80 million doses will represent 30 percent of the vaccines produced by the United States by the end of June.
“This will be more vaccines than any country has actually shared to date, five times more than any other country. More than Russia and China, which have donated 15 million doses,” Biden said.
The U.S. has come under pressure to expand the number of doses it is making available to the globe. While the country initially prioritized distribution within the U.S., supply has since spiked and in some states outpaced demand. Meanwhile, other countries like India and Brazil have grappled with alarming surges in coronavirus cases, fueled largely by more infectious variants of the illness.