United States President Joe Biden announced on May 17 that his administration will share an additional 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to other countries by the end of June.
“Our vaccination program has led the world, and today we are taking an additional step to help the world,” Biden said during a press briefing at the White House.
Biden said that the 20 million doses will consist of vaccines authorized in the U.S., which are the ones developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Jonhson.
The 20 million doses is in addition to the 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine — which has not been approved for use in the U.S. — that the Biden administration previously announced it would give to other countries. This means the U.S. will share a total of 80 million COVID-19 vaccines to overseas.
“This will be more vaccines than any country has actually shared to date, five times more. More than Russia and China, which have donated 15 million doses,” Biden said.
The announcement comes as pressures for the U.S. to play a larger role in the international vaccination effort has intensified due to surging cases in India and South America and as China and Russia share their vaccines abroad, expanding their global influence.
“We will share these vaccines in the service of ending the pandemic everywhere. And we will not use our vaccines to secure favors from other countries,” Biden noted.
Biden did not name the countries that will receive the doses. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said more details will be shared in the coming days.
Biden also said that he would announce the progress of the new “multilateral effort” to end the pandemic at the Group of Seven Summit in June.