US announces plans for sharing COVID vaccines
Washington – Haiti is the only Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country expected to benefit directly from 14 million doses of vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for Latin America and the Caribbean, as the United States Monday announced new plans for sharing the shots globally.
The White House announced the final allocations for the doses, with 60 million shots going to the global COVAX vaccine sharing alliance and 20 million being directed to specific partners.
COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which is a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country.
On Monday, Washington revealed plans for 55 million more shots. It said through COVAX, the latest batch of doses will include about 14 million for Latin America and the Caribbean, approximately 16 million for Asia and about ten million for Africa.
About 14 million doses will be shared directly with Colombia, Argentina, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Cabo Verde, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Oman, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova and Bosnia.
On Monday it was disclosed that Washington’s plans to ship 80 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines by the end of this month would fall short because of regulatory and other hurdles.
Reports indicate that fewer than ten million doses have been shipped around the world, and US officials said that while the US-produced doses are ready, deliveries have been delayed due to US and recipient legal, logistical and regulatory requirements.
A White House official said shipments will go out as soon as countries are ready to receive the doses and the administration sorts out logistical complexities.
The excess doses are not needed in the US, where on May 17, President Joe Biden announced that “over the next six weeks, the United States of America will send 80 million doses overseas.
“This will be more vaccines than any country has actually shared to date . . . more than Russia and China, which have donated 15 million doses,” he said, then.
Earlier this month, Biden announced that on top of the 80 million, the US was purchasing 500 million doses from Pfizer to donate globally over the coming year, with the first deliveries expected in August.
The US President had initially committed to providing other nations with all 60 million US-produced doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has yet to be authorised for use in America but is widely approved around the world.
The AstraZeneca doses have been held up for export by a weekslong safety review by the Food and Drug Administration. (CMC)