WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — The United States on Tuesday announced that it will this week ship more than 200,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Jamaica and St Lucia as part of its global efforts to save lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed and infected millions of people globally.
Washington said that it is shipping 208,160 doses of Pfizer to Jamaica and 62,650 doses of Pfizer to St Lucia.
It said that scientific teams and legal and regulatory authorities from both countries have worked together to ensure the prompt delivery of safe and effective vaccine lots to Jamaica and St Lucia.
Last week, Washington sent nearly one million vaccines to several Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Kitts-Nevis.
“America will be the arsenal of vaccines in our fight against COVID-19. We are proud to be able to deliver these safe and effective vaccines to the people of both countries,” said President Joe Biden, adding “we are sharing these doses not to secure favours or extract concessions”.
“Our vaccines do not come with strings attached. We are doing this with the singular objective of saving lives. We’re leading the world in a global vaccine strategy because it’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing morally, the right thing from a global public health perspective, and right for our collective security and well-being.”
The White House said that the Biden-Harris administration understands that putting an end to this pandemic requires eliminating it around the world.
It said in addition to the US$2 billion donated to COVAX, which is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi and the World Health Organization (WHO), the US government has purchased 500 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to distribute them through the year to the African Union and 92 low and lower middle-income countries as defined by the Gavi’s COVAX Advanced Market Commitment.
The G7 countries followed up by committing an additional 500 million doses for the world.
The US announcement represents the largest-ever purchase and donation of vaccines by a single country and a commitment by the American people to help protect people around the world from COVID-19, the statement said.
“This is a unique moment in history, and it requires American leadership. We will continue to do all we can to build a world that is safer and more secure against the threat of infectious disease,” the statement added.
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