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White House announces plans for 55M donated COVID-19 vaccine doses

President Joe Biden waves to the press as he walks to board Marine One at the White House on Friday. The Biden administration on Monday announced plans for 55 million donated coronavirus vaccines to poorer countries. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI
President Joe Biden waves to the press as he walks to board Marine One at the White House on Friday. The Biden administration on Monday announced plans for 55 million donated coronavirus vaccines to poorer countries. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- The Biden administration on Monday said it will distribute 55 million of its promised 80 million doses from the United States' COVID-19 vaccine supply to an international consortium that works with poor countries and targeted regional allies.

On June 3, the White House initially announced the U.S. government would send at least 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to needy countries overseas by the end of this month. During that announcement, it designated the first 19 million doses to the COVAX initiative and 6 million to "regional priorities and partner recipients."

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In Monday's announcement, the Biden administration said of the 55 million remaining doses, 41 million will go to COVAX and 14 million to Latin American and Caribbean countries in need.

Those countries include Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Costa Rica, along with member nations of the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM, organization.

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"For all of these doses, those most at risk, such as healthcare workers, should be prioritized, based on national vaccine plans," the White House statement said. "In addition to sharing doses from our own vaccine supply, the Biden-Harris administration is also committed to working with our U.S. manufacturers to produce more vaccine to share with the world."

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Biden said before the G7 Summit the United States would purchase 500 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and donate them to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries, including African Union members.

"Sharing millions of U.S. vaccines with other countries signals a major commitment by the U.S. government," the White House said. "Just like we have in our domestic response, we will move as expeditiously as possible, while abiding by U.S. and host country regulatory and legal requirements, to facilitate the safe and secure transport of vaccines across international borders."

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National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

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