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55 million vaccine doses to be split among Latin America, Asia, and Africa

55 million vaccine doses to be split among Latin America, Asia, and Africa

June 23, 2021: -The Biden administration announced Monday it would send 55 million coronavirus vaccine doses to countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa as it continues to spread in low rapidly- and middle-income nations.

The 55 million vaccine doses are the remaining portion of 80 million doses Biden has committed to donating abroad. The administration said it would send 25 million doses to South and Central America, Asia, Africa, neighboring countries, and U.S. allies earlier this month.

The U.S. is planning to allocate 75% of its initial 80 million doses through COVAX, the nonprofit that distributes vaccines primarily to developing countries. At the same time, the remaining shots will be sent to countries currently dealing with surges in new infections, the administration said Monday.

The administration said about 14 million doses would go to Latin America and the Caribbean, which also includes Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Costa Rica.

Nearly 16 million will go to countries in Asia such as India, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, and Thailand, the administration saIn addition, around 10 million doses will go to Africa and is expecting to share it with countries that will be selected in coordination with the African Union, it added.

Some 14 million will be shared with “regional priorities and other recipients” like Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, and Ukraine, the administration said.

“Sharing millions of U.S. vaccines with other countries signals a major commitment by the U.S. government,” the administration said. “Just like we have in our domestic response, we will move as expeditiously as possible while abiding by U.S. and host country regulatory and legal requirements,” it added.

The announcement came on Monday as above half of the U.S. population has had at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and new cases and deaths have decreased rapidly.

As of Sunday, over 177 million Americans, or 53.3% of the population, have had at least one dose, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, over 149 million Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the agency.

However, the pandemic outlook in other countries is bleaker, with some places like Africa reporting an increasingly worrying increase in Covid cases.

The WHO is urging wealthy nations to donate the doses. Many countries have made pledges to share millions of doses worldwide, but WHO officials say those doses need to make their way to low-income countries without delay.