President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that by July 4 the U.S will have sent about 10% of the COVID-19 vaccines it produced to other nations.
“It’s a significant humanitarian commitment in addition to our funding of COVAX, and I’ll have more to say about that soon,” Biden said, referring to the World Health Organization-led initiative to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
CNN reported that an administration official stated that 60 million doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine have been promised other nations, including Canada and Mexico. These vaccine shots have not been authorized to use in the U.S just yet.
Andy Slavitt, White House senior adviser for COVID-19 response, tweeted: “By July 4, 10% of vaccines produced for domestic use will be exported to other countries. This is in addition to vaccines manufactured here for export.”
These initiatives come in the light of aiding India, which faces the worst coronavirus outbreak in the whole world, and Western countries are pressured to help more.
U.S President Biden has spoken with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is sending the materials that the country needed the most, which are parts for machines to make vaccines.
Additionally, the president said that his administration is ready if the Food and Drug Administration authorizes Pfizer’s request to widen the scope of COVID-19 vaccines to 12-to-15-year-old.
“Today, I want American parents to know that if that announcement comes, we are ready to move immediately – immediately move to make about 20,000 pharmacy sites across the country ready to vaccinate those adolescents as soon as the FDA grants it’s OK,” Biden said on Tuesday.
However, the morality of widening the scope of vaccinations to younger people is under fire as experts claim that there are other countries that lack vaccine shots to even cover their vulnerable population.
“From an ethical perspective, we should not be prioritizing people like them over people in countries like India,” Rupali Limaye, a Johns Hopkins University researcher who studies vaccine use and hesitancy, told The New York Times about adolescents.