U.S. says donated, shipped 110 mil. vaccine doses to over 60 nations

Aug 04 , 2021. 1 hour ago – 08:59 KYODO NEWS

U.S. President Joe Biden takes questions during an event at the White House in Washington on Aug. 3, 2021, where he addressed the importance of people getting a COVID-19 vaccination. (Getty/Kyodo) 

WASHINGTON – The administration of President Joe Biden said Tuesday that it has now donated and shipped more than 110 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to more than 60 countries, claiming it a “major milestone” that cements the United States as the global leader in COVID-19 vaccine donations.

“According to the United Nations, this is more than the donations of all 24 countries that have donated any vaccine to other countries, including China and Russia — all those nations combined,” Biden said, naming the two countries that are engaging in their own vaccine diplomacy to exert influence on developing countries.

Reiterating his view that the world is now in a race between democracies and autocracies like China and Russia, Biden said democracies of the world are looking to America to lead in two ways — by controlling the virus at home and helping address the pandemic around the world.

The Biden administration has committed to donate at least 80 million vaccine doses from the U.S. supply to countries throughout the world, with a majority of the vaccines shipped through the U.N.-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program.

Countries and regions that have benefited so far include Indonesia, which received 8 million doses, as well as Colombia and the Philippines, which each received around 6 million doses, according to the White House. Vietnam received 5 million shots and Taiwan 2.5 million shots.

Starting at the end of this month, the administration said it will begin shipping half a billion Pfizer Inc. vaccine doses that the United States has pledged to purchase and donate to 100 low-income countries in need.

At home, the Biden administration on Monday achieved its goal of inoculating 70 percent of adults in the United States with at least one shot, about a month later than it initially aimed to.

But it has recently ramped up its vaccination campaign as the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus is pushing up the number of new daily cases to more than 75,000.

Cr. KYODO NEWS