The United States plans to share millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine with other countries in the coming months, the White House announced on Monday. It is not clear whether Canada will be in line for any of the windfall.
A senior administration official said that there could be up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine available to be shared with other countries in the next two months, assuming the FDA issues an emergency use authorization for the vaccine.
Multiple world leaders including Prime Minister Trudeau, have pressed Biden to share doses as other countries have struggled to ramp up vaccinations.
Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on Monday. Modi did not make a specific request for vaccines when he spoke with Biden, according to senior administration officials.
It could be some time before other countries receive these vaccines, the White House cautioned Monday.
“Just to be clear, right now, we have zero doses available of AstraZeneca,” Psaki told reporters. Following a FDA quality review, there could be 10 million available in the coming weeks, but it will likely be May or June before closer to 60 million are finished. “So, this is not immediate.” The US has already shipped 1.5 Million doses od AstraZeneca vaccine to Canada as a “loan.”
Biden said in March that if there was a surplus of vaccines, “we’re going to share it with the rest of the world.” However, he has repeatedly underscored that vaccines will not be sent without taking care of the American population first.
“We’re looking at what is going to be done with some of the vaccines that we are not using. We got to make sure they are safe to be sent. And we hope to be able to be of some hope and value to countries around the world,” Biden said earlier this month.