Following mounting criticism that the administration was hoarding shots while other countries suffered, the United States President Joe Biden has decided to send up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca Covid doses to the world.
The US has a stockpile of the AstraZeneca vaccine even though its regulators have not yet authorised it for public use and will likely not be required to vaccinate Americans.
“Given the strong portfolio of vaccines that the U.S. already has and that have been authorized by the FDA, and given that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized for use in the U.S., we do not need to use the AstraZeneca vaccine here during the next several months,” added White House covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients.
However, it was not immediately clear how many doses are ready to be shipped or where they will go. But India appears to be a leading contender after Biden held a telephone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, assuring complete support to fight the covid surge.
The U.S. previously loaned 4.2 million AstraZeneca shots to Mexico and Canada, the only Covid-19 vaccine doses it has shared so far.
The US is currently using Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson &Johnson vaccines to inoculate its people and 53% of its adult population is already vaccinated, while the stock for the entire population is expected to be ready by early summer.