Justin Bullock, FISM News
The United States will soon begin sharing their surplus of COVID-19 vaccines with the rest of the world. On Thursday, President Biden released his plan to distribute extra vaccines to countries around the world who are facing vaccine shortages. In the President’s plan the White House indicated that the US has hundreds of millions of extra COVID-19 doses and expects to generate even more as American based pharmaceutical companies continue production. Specifically, the President has indicated that the US hopes to give out eighty million doses by the end of June.
The President’s plan on Thursday outlined the strategy for the first twenty-five million doses. The US will share 75% of its excess vaccines through the World Health Organization’s initiative known as COVAX. The remaining 25% will be distributed directly to countries experiencing surges in COVID-19 cases and countries demonstrating extreme and immediate need for the vaccine. The White House went on to clarify, “[f]or doses shared through COVAX, the United States will prioritize Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa, in coordination with the African Union,” and, “We first made doses available to our closest neighbors – Canada and Mexico. Our dose sharing approach prioritizes Latin American and the Caribbean on a per capita basis.”
Another country likely to receive a portion of the American vaccine surplus is Japan who is gearing up to host the Olympic games starting next month. Currently Japan is facing internal and external criticism regarding its ability to effectively and safely host the Olympics as reported by FISM News. This criticism is in large part due to the fact that Japan is facing a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines and is also experiencing a surging fourth wave of COVID-19 cases across the country. Timely help from the US could go a long in helping Japan control the virus and get ready for the Olympics.