US to send 20 million vaccine doses abroad

·1-min read

US President Joe Biden says at least 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses will be sent to other countries by the end of June, marking the first time the United States is sharing vaccines authorised for domestic use.

Biden announced that he will send doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, on top of 60 million AstraZeneca Plc doses he had already planned to give to other countries.

Unlike the others, AstraZeneca's shot is not yet authorised for use in the United States.

"Just as in World War II America was the arsenal of democracy, in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic our nation is going to be the arsenal of vaccines," Biden said.

Biden said no other country will send more vaccines abroad than the United States.

The United States has administered more than 272 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and distributed more than 340 million, according to federal data updated on Monday morning.

With nearly 60 per cent of US adults having received at least one shot, it is well ahead of countries like Brazil and India, which are desperate for more doses and struggling to control COVID-19 outbreaks.

Biden has been under global pressure to share US vaccines but he insisted that he had to first get the pandemic under control at home.