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Biden to send 20 million doses of U.S.-authorized vaccines abroad for first time

Sports & GeneralMay 18, 2021 06:51AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the state of vaccinations as Vice President Kamala Harris listens during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response event in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Car 2/2

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden will send at least 20 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad by the end of June, marking the first time the United States is sharing vaccines authorized for domestic use.

The move marks a notable pivot from the White House as the administration seeks to use the country's vaccine supply as a diplomatic tool with the pandemic outlook brightening at home.

Biden announced on Monday that his administration will send doses of the Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) Inc/BioNTech SE, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) Inc and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) vaccines, on top of 60 million AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) Plc doses he had already planned to give to other countries.

Unlike the others, AstraZeneca's shot is not yet authorized for use in the United States.

"Just as in World War Two America was the arsenal of democracy, in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic our nation is going to be the arsenal of vaccines," Biden said.

The president has been under pressure to share vaccines to help contain worsening epidemics from India to Brazil, where health experts fear new, more contagious coronavirus variants could undermine the effectiveness of available shots.

Biden noted that no other country will send more vaccines abroad than the United States. So far, the United Stages has sent a few million AstraZeneca doses to Canada and Mexico.

"We want to lead the world with our values with this demonstration of our innovation, ingenuity, and the fundamental decency of American people," Biden said.

China, which has exported hundreds of millions of doses mainly to developing countries and pledged to donate at least nearly 4 million doses, said it welcomed the U.S. move but it would not use vaccines as a tool in diplomatic relations.

"We welcome if the U.S. can implement its commitment to vaccine assistance at an early date and provide tangible help to developing countries in their fight against the epidemic," Zhao Lijian, a spokesman at China's foreign ministry, said.

"Unlike the United States, China will not use vaccine influence to lead the world and will not chant empty slogans without action," he said at a regular briefing on Tuesday.

The White House has not provided any details about what countries will receive the shots. Biden said that Jeff Zients, who heads the U.S. vaccine efforts, will now also lead the global vaccine push.

The United States has administered more than 272 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and distributed more than 340 million, according to federal data updated on Monday morning.

With more and more Americans vaccinated, U.S. deaths from COVID-19 last week fell to their lowest in nearly 14 months, while the number of new cases declined for a fifth consecutive week, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.

Biden warned that those who do not get vaccinated "will end up paying the price" as he lamented that "we're still losing too many Americans" despite the significant progress.

Biden to send 20 million doses of U.S.-authorized vaccines abroad for first time
 

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Comments (13)
Stephen Fa
Stephen Fa May 18, 2021 9:11AM ET
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Here brown people, take this AZ vax that we don't think is safe. Meanwhile, we start vaxing our teenagers. Only 328 children have died of COVID in the US.
biden dennis
biden dennis May 18, 2021 8:07AM ET
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20 mln vaccines to who??? to indian alone its not even 0.2% of the population. will US send the vaccines if they do not hv enuff vaccines at home?
Simon Liu
Simon Liu May 18, 2021 7:45AM ET
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To Taiwan, Yes!
biden dennis
biden dennis May 18, 2021 7:45AM ET
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taiwan will be last or get nothing, as sidekick will still be sidekick, will not run away.
Anthony Cloud
Anthony Cloud May 18, 2021 7:34AM ET
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They should be distributing hydroxychloroq and ivermectin. Well established and tested medications that prevent and rid covid, but they’re pushing this experimental garbage instead because of money.
Christian Gustafson
Christian Gustafson May 18, 2021 7:12AM ET
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Enjoy antibody-dependent enhancement.
Scot House
Scot House May 18, 2021 7:11AM ET
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Someone might want to tell him he did said task
BADMUS ALAMEEN
BADMUS ALAMEEN May 18, 2021 7:09AM ET
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Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey May 17, 2021 5:47PM ET
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Hahaha- “authorised vaccines”....really
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire May 17, 2021 5:47PM ET
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???
Joel Hauser
Joel Hauser May 17, 2021 5:31PM ET
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Since red states don't want it send them to other countries and make some profit while saving lives.
Special Forces
Special Forces May 17, 2021 5:02PM ET
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Extra vaccines the loyal trumpers declined...
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 17, 2021 5:02PM ET
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You can thank Trump for the vaccine existing.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire May 17, 2021 5:02PM ET
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Catholic Man hows that? You trump simps are hilarious.
Scot House
Scot House May 17, 2021 5:02PM ET
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Benjamin McIntire cause he fast tracked the vaccine. Libs aint too smart. What actually did Slow Joe do? Im waiting genius. Dude doesnt know where he is at half the time or what he is signing. Cognitive decline.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller May 17, 2021 3:54PM ET
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He’s not sending them, their allowing the vacine makers to send them only because America has enough. A politician trying to look like a savior.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 17, 2021 2:03PM ET
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Thanks to President Trump.
Patron Silver
Patron Silver May 17, 2021 2:03PM ET
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sorry bubs, Pfizer didn't take any warp money and co-developed it with German Co. Ape-man was just the squeaky wheel trying to get attention
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire May 17, 2021 2:03PM ET
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Patron Silver dont argue with trump simps they will grovel no matter what
Roger Pruzansky
Roger Pruzansky May 17, 2021 1:46PM ET
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that's good inject the rest of the world with the brainwash serum. lol jk this is a good thing by the us to help save lives.
Joe Chang
Joe Chang May 17, 2021 1:46PM ET
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You can take Chinese vaccine instead and see how brainwashed. you will be.
 
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