Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 3
US President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the distribution of the first 2.5 crore vaccines to other countries out of the 8 crore promised by July 4.
Of these, 60 lakh will be shared directly with countries experiencing surges such as India, Canada, Mexico and South Korea.
Biden said the first shipment of 2.5 crore vaccines lays the ground for increased global coverage and addresses the needs of the most vulnerable countries. At least 75 per cent of these doses—nearly 1.9 crore—will be shared through COVAX, including 60 lakh doses for Latin America and the Caribbean, 70 lakh for South and Southeast Asia and 50 lakh for Africa.
It is from the remaining doses — just over 60 lakhs — that shipments will be made to India as well.
The US has already shared over 40 lakh doses with Canada and Mexico.
Biden had announced last month that by the end of June, the US will share 8 crore doses of its vaccine stockpile with the world.
This means that some of the remaining 5.5 crore doses may come to India.
Making the announcement, Biden said, “We are sharing these doses not to secure favours or extract concessions. We are sharing these vaccines to save lives and to lead the world in bringing an end to the pandemic, with the power of our example and with our values. And we will continue to follow the science and to work in close cooperation with our democratic partners to coordinate a multilateral effort, including through the G7.”
Harris speaks to Modi
US Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the phone as part of the Biden Administration’s approach to talk to leaders of countries that will receive the first shipments of 2.5 crore doses. She also dialled leaders of Mexico, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago.
Harris stressed the Biden Administration’s efforts to ‘achieve broad global coverage, responding to surges and other urgent situations and public health needs and helping as many countries as possible who requested vaccines’, according to Senior White House Advisor and Chief Spokesperson Symone Sanders.
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