The United States will share up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine with other countries in the coming months, the White House announced on April 26.
White House COVID-19 Coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters in a conference call that the U.S. is pursuing options to export the AstraZeneca vaccine doses it has because they are not needed in the coming months.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, but not AstraZeneca because it has yet to pass the review in meeting “expectations for product quality,” according to Zients.
“Given the strong portfolio of vaccines that the U.S. already has and that have been authorized by the FDA, and given that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized for use in the U.S., we do not need to use the AstraZeneca vaccine here during the next several months,” Zients said.
“Therefore, the U.S. is looking at options to share the AstraZeneca doses with other countries as they become available,” Zients further said.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing that the FDA will confirm if the AstraZeneca doses meet its expectations for product quality before being shipped to other countries.
“Our team will share more details about our planning and who will be receiving doses from here. But we’re in the planning process at this point in time,” Psaki said.
Psaki also said that approximately 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to be released in the coming weeks.
An estimated 50 million more doses are in various stages of production, which could be completed across May and June, according to Psaki.
The U.S. government has a contract with AstraZeneca for 300 million doses of its vaccine.
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