US to share 4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine with Mexico, Canada

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Mar 19, 2021, 02:03 PM(IST)

A file photo of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Mexico will receive 2.5 million doses of the vaccine and Canada is to receive 1.5 million doses, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The United States is finally yielding to requests to share Covid-19 jabs with allies, and is set to send roughly 4 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine that it is not using to Mexico and Canada in loan deals with the two countries.

Mexico will receive 2.5 million doses of the vaccine and Canada is to receive 1.5 million doses, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The Biden administration has come under pressure from countries around the world to share vaccines, particularly its stock of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is authorised for use elsewhere but not yet in the United States.

AstraZeneca has millions of doses made in a US facility, and has said that it would have 30 million shots ready at the beginning of April.

The deal to share the vaccine does not affect President Joe Biden’s plans to have vaccine available for all adults in the United States by the end of May, a senior administration official said.

Psaki said the United States had access to 7 million releasable doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine but had no plans to share them with any countries at this time other than Canada and Mexico.

Mexico’s government said on Thursday it would restrict movement on its southern border with Guatemala amid rising apprehensions of migrants trying to enter the United States, many of them unaccompanied minors.

Reports of blood disorders have prompted more than a dozen nations to suspend use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, but the European Union’s drug watchdog said on Thursday that after an investigation, it was still convinced the benefits of that vaccine outweighed the risks.

Also read | EU countries to resume AstraZeneca jabs after 'safe' verdict

Biden had earlier said if the United States has a surplus of vaccine, it would share it with the rest of the world. The White House has focussed on vaccinating people in the United States, which has seen more than 530,000 people die from the virus, the most of any country.

Biden said on Thursday that his goal of having 100 million vaccine shots administered in the United States during his first 100 days in office would be met early, on Friday. Biden took office on January 20.

The country is getting prepared to roll out the AstraZeneca vaccine domestically if it gets authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration, the White House said.

(with inputs)

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