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Biden to send U.S.-authorized vaccines abroad for first time

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks from the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. May 17, 2021.
REUTERS/Leah Millis

U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Monday that he will send at least 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to other countries by the end of June, marking the first time the United States is sharing vaccines authorized for domestic use.

Biden announced that he will send doses of the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc 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 authorized 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 noted that 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% of U.S. adults having gotten at least one shot, it is well ahead of many nations 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 U.S. vaccines, but he insisted that he had to first get the pandemic under control at home.

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