WASHINGTON — The White House said it will be sending out its first wave of 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the coming weeks as the administration looks to speed up efforts to assist countries struggling with a shortage of vaccines.
Of those doses, 19 million will be shared through the international aid organization COVAX, which will allocate 6 million doses to countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean, including Brazil and Haiti, which have been hit particularly hard.
Another 7 million will go to Asian nations, including India, and 5 million will be sent to the African Union to allocate.
The U.S. will send another 6 million doses directly to governments that have requested doses, are experiencing surges or are immediate neighbors, including Mexico, Canada, Korea, the West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Yemen.
The U.S. will also provide vaccines to United Nations front-line workers.
The doses are the first to be shipped out of the 80 million President Joe Biden pledged last month to send overseas by the end of June.
The White House did not give a timeline for when those doses would be shipped, saying only that the “specific vaccines and amounts will be determined and shared as the administration works through the logistical, regulatory and other parameters particular to each region and country.”
White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zients said:
“To be clear, our approach is to ensure vaccines are delivered in a way that is equitable and follows the latest science of public health data across the coming weeks.
“The administration will move as expeditiously as possible and work through regulatory requirements and logistical details to ensure safe and secure delivery of doses. It is certainly a complex operational challenge.”
Zients said 1 million doses would be heading to South Korea Thursday evening. Biden committed last month to give doses to South Korean service members who work directly with U.S. troops … Click here to read more.