India among countries set to receive first tranche of U.S. vaccine donation

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 U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the White House campus in Washington, U.S., March 29, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

President Joe Biden announced a first tranche of global vaccine distribution of 25 million doses to countries around the world including India. However, the number being distributed is minuscule considering the massive requirements globally, and especially in India. The White House indicated it was the first among more future shipments.

The 25 million doses are part of the 80 million Biden committed to distributing globally by end of June, and are meant to “lay the ground for increased global coverage and to address real and potential surges, high burdens of disease, and the needs of the most vulnerable countries,” the White House said.

At least 75 percent of these 25 million doses—nearly 19 million—will be shared through COVAX, the World Health Organization initiative, including approximately 6 million doses for Latin America and the Caribbean, approximately 7 million for South and Southeast Asia including India, and approximately 5 million for Africa, working in coordination with the African Union and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The details regarding the 19 million shared through COVAX are as follows –

Approximately 7 million for Asia to the following countries and entities:  India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, and the Pacific Islands.

Approximately 6 million for South and Central America to the following countries: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, as well as the Dominican Republic.

Approximately 5 million for Africa to be shared with countries that will be selected in coordination with the African Union.

The remaining doses, just over 6 million, will be shared directly with countries experiencing surges, those in crisis, and other partners and neighbors, including India, Canada, Mexico, and the Republic of Korea.

“As the United States continues our efforts to get every eligible American vaccinated and fight COVID-19 here at home, we also recognize that ending this pandemic means ending it everywhere,” Biden said in a press release June 3, 2021.

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