Biden announces U.S. will send 20 million additional vaccines to other countries

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The doses will come from existing reserves of U.S.-produced vaccines

President Joe Biden said in remarks at the White House on Monday that America will send an additional 20 million doses of U.S.-approved COVID-19 vaccines abroad by the end of June.

Biden already announced that the U.S. would be sharing 60 million AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines with other countries. Now, the U.S. will also export vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson with the goal of “ending the pandemic everywhere.”

The news comes as the White House and federal health officials have tried stepping up efforts to boost vaccination rates in the U.S. Vaccination numbers have started rising more slowly in recent weeks because those who were most eager to get vaccinated already have been. As a result, vaccine supply is beginning to exceed demand. 

Battling COVID-19 around the world

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the doses going out will “help countries battling the pandemic.” While the U.S. has gone to great lengths to expand vaccine availability, a number of other countries -- like India -- are struggling to combat the pandemic and secure supplies of vaccines.

The 60 million AstraZeneca doses slated to be exported will have to undergo a safety review prior to being shipped.

“We are waiting for, of course, AstraZeneca, as you know, to go through the approval process of the FDA, but this will put 80 million doses out into the world by the end of June,” Psaki said.

Biden said Monday that 60% of Americans have received at least one shot of the three authorized coronavirus vaccines, but “we’re still losing too many Americans” despite that progress.

“We know America will never be fully safe until the pandemic that’s raging globally is under control,” Biden said.

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