Responding to the plan for India and doses under consideration for India, Smith said, 'I can't tell what allocation we have per country. Given the surge in India, it has been a major priority for us'
The US will donate a significant number of coronavirus vaccines through the World Health Organization's COVAX scheme for distributing doses to poorer countries, the US global coordinator on Covid Gayle Smith said at a press conference.
US President Joe Biden had announced that his administration will send by the end of June a total of 20 million doses of the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, on top of 60 million AstraZeneca Plc doses he had already planned to give to other countries.
"As President Biden announced, we'll share 20 mn vaccine doses in addition to 60 mn AstraZeneca doses announced earlier, that means we'd share 80 mn doses making us largest vaccine sharer so far," Smith added.
Doses under consideration for India
Responding to the plan for India and doses under consideration for India, Smith said, "I can't tell what allocation we have per country. Given the surge in India, it has been a major priority for us. We look at 100 million dollars in assistance and a mobilized private sector with amazing response. But no call has been taken on ultimate allocation but we will reach out."
"We are looking at all regions. Given the constraint in vaccine supply everywhere. We have not made a final decision but we are looking at every region. The decisions will be made on the basis of need and collaboration with key partners and COVAX," she added.
Smith said that the United States was also planning to increase its funding for COVAX, in addition to $2 billion which she said it had already donated to the facility in past months.
"We are aware of the systemic impact of COVID. We are discussing funding that will be available to mitigate some of the economic effects of the pandemic. We do not intend to use it to influence or (exert) pressure," she said, adding that vaccines are for public health and are meant to bring the pandemic to an end.
Smith was the administrator of USAID for former president Barack Obama and served on the National Security Council for Obama and Bill Clinton. She led the US response to the Ebola crisis in 2014.
Last month, the White House had shared roughly four million doses of the vaccine with Canada and Mexico.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki clarified that these doses would be available in the coming weeks. "Just to be clear right now we have zero doses available of AstraZeneca," she told reporters at her daily news conference.
"We're talking about what the FDA needs to go through a review to ensure the safety and it's meeting our own bar and our own guidelines. And we expect there to be approximately 10 million doses that could be ready if or when the FDA gives its concurrence, which could happen in the coming weeks. So this is not immediate," she explained.
Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.
Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint.
our App Now!!