While 63 percent of American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, most of the rest of the world is struggling to vaccinate the bulk of their population.
On Thursday, the Biden administration laid out how the United States would share the first 25 million of 80 million vaccine doses with the rest of the world. The first doses were already “in the air” as of Thursday’s briefing on the plan. Of that 25 million, 19 million of those doses will be distributed through COVAX, a global partnership with the World Health Organization to distribute shots to poorer regions, with a priority on Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. The remaining 6 million doses would go directly from the U.S. to countries including Canada, Mexico, India, and South Korea.
“We are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions,” President Biden said in a statement. “We are sharing these vaccines to save lives and to lead the world in bringing an end to the pandemic, with the power of our example and with our values.”
According to the White House, the 25 million doses doled out beginning Thursday will include the Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna vaccines but not AstraZeneca, which is still under review by the FDA. Biden has previously committed to providing other nations with all 60 million domestically produced doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is widely approved around the world, but the U.S.-produced doses will be available to ship as soon as they clear a safety review.