Pakistan, Indonesia among biggest beneficiaries of over 110 mn vaccines donated by US
The White House stressed that these Covid-19 vaccine donations will not be used to secure favours from other countries.
The United States has donated and shipped more than 110 million doses of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines to more than 60 countries, the White House announced on Tuesday. Citing the data from the United Nations, the White House said in a statement that the number of doses donated by the US is more than the donations of all other countries combined which “cements the United States as the global leader in Covid-19 vaccine donations.”
US President Joe Biden has promised the country will be an “arsenal of vaccines” for the world amid fear of inequitable vaccine distribution in low- and lower-middle-income countries. Biden is expected to discuss the milestone later Tuesday, providing an update on his administration’s strategy to stop the spread of Covid-19 abroad.
Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa received the largest chunk of the vaccines donated by the US. While Pakistan and Bangladesh received 5.5 million Covid-19 vaccines each, Indonesia received 8 million vaccines. The Philippines and South Africa are also major beneficiaries, getting 6.2 million and 5.6 million shots respectively.
The White House stressed that these donations will not be used to secure favours from other countries. “The Administration looks at a variety of factors, including Covid-19 case rates, death rates, and hospitalizations; current vaccination rates; responses to surges; and a country’s ability to receive vaccines and put shots into arms,” it added.
The United States has made the vaccine donations largely through a global vaccine program called COVAX. The White House stated that the US will start shipping 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccine at the end of August that it has pledged to donate to 100 low-income countries by June 2022.
The announcement comes as the US has started witnessing a fresh surge in infections, mostly among the unvaccinated. The administration is encouraging states to incentivise people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 since vaccine hesitancy has slowed down the inoculation drive, especially in the southern states.