The US has reached a milestone in its efforts to provide Covid-19 vaccines to the rest of the world, and had completed 110 million donations as of Tuesday morning, the White House said.
In a fact sheet released by the Biden administration Tuesday morning, White House officials said that this donation was separate from the 500 million doses the president said he would donate to developing nations or others struggling to obtain the shots in June.
“These more than 110 million doses – that are already saving lives around the world – are just the beginning of the administration’s efforts to provide vaccines to the world. Starting at the end of this month, the administration will begin shipping a half a billion Pfizer doses that the United States has pledged to purchase and donate to 100 low-income countries in need,” the White House’s statement said.
More than 60 countries have received doses from the US. Many Central and South American countries were on the list, as were a high number in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
The only European country on the list of recipients was Ukraine, which received 500,000 doses from the Biden administration.
“We will continue to work with COVAX, regional partners such as the African Union and CARICOM, and other partners to ensure these vaccines are delivered in a way that is equitable and follows the science and public health data”, said the White House, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic was a “unique moment in history, and it requires American leadership, science and ingenuity, perseverance”.
The White House had come under increasing pressure to deal with rising inequity around the world surrounding vaccinations against Covid-19 before the June announcement that the US would donate half a billion vaccines; some countries such as India and others particularly in the developing world have been battling rampant Covid-19 outbreaks for months, while struggling to obtain access to comparatively minuscule amounts of vaccines compared to the size of their total populations.
The US, by comparison, now has more vaccines than it can administer as 58 per cent of its total population vaccinated with at least one dose of a Covid-19 injection, while about 50 per cent are vaccinated fully and hesitancy against the jabs is now seen as a major factor driving down the rate of further vaccinations.
“Our vaccine donations don’t include pressure for favours or potential concessions,” President Joe Biden said in June. “We’re doing this to save lives, to end this pandemic. That’s it. Period.”