Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Biden's move to share vaccine doses could be a global game changer

Data: Airfinity; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The Biden administration took its biggest step yet toward becoming a global supplier of coronavirus vaccines, announcing that it would export 60 million AstraZeneca doses over the next several weeks.

Why it matters: President Biden has been under intense global scrutiny for his "Americans first" approach. Alone among the four major producers, the U.S. has kept nearly its entire supply up to now.

  • The biggest symbol of Washington's "vaccine nationalism" had been the stockpiling of the AstraZeneca vaccine — not approved and not needed in the U.S., but crucial to many countries' rollouts.
  • A senior administration official told reporters tonight that just 10 million doses were waiting to be distributed (much lower than had been reported), while another 50 million doses would be ready by June.

Those doses will be exported around the world, pending an FDA safety review, but the White House says no decisions have been made as to which countries will receive them.

  • India could be near the top of the list given the terrifying outbreak there, though the White House says Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not request doses in a call with Biden today.
  • So too could Mexico, which has turned to Russia and China in search of vaccines despite bordering one of the world's largest producers.
Note: This map represents the total number of vaccines administered, not people vaccinated; Data: Our World in Data; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Breaking it down: While relatively small compared to the 231 million doses the U.S. has already administered, 60 million doses would be a major boost to the severely strained global supply.

  • The COVAX initiative, the primary source of vaccines for dozens of lower-income countries, has thus far only distributed 45 million doses globally.
  • Still, now that Biden has shown he's willing to export the vaccine the U.S. isn't using, the obvious next question is when he'll allow exports of the ones it is: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

What to watch: Nearly every U.S. adult who wants a vaccine will likely have had one within the next two to three weeks, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.

  • And as demand begins to wane, supply should continue to ramp up. Pfizer, Moderna, J&J and AstraZeneca still owe the U.S. hundreds of millions of doses (more still if Biden exercises additional purchase options).
  • Biden will face international pressure and public health imperatives to share those doses with the world. He has said that he hopes to do so once the U.S. has a "surplus" but offered no clarity as to what qualifies as a surplus or where the doses will go.
  • On the one hand: The Biden administration has emphasized the need for caution and flexibility at home, citing possible production disruptions, the likely need for booster shots and the possibility of vaccinating children.
  • On the other: Secretary of State Tony Blinken has said the U.S. will become "the world leader in helping to make sure that the entire world gets vaccinated."

The bottom line: Even as the U.S. puts billions of dollars toward that goal, it has been unwilling to tap the biggest asset at Biden's disposal: the doses streaming out of U.S. factories each week.

Israel to continue Gaza operation, officials rule out cease-fire for now

The Israeli security cabinet on Sunday decided to continue the Gaza operation, according to military plans. Israeli officials said a cease-fire is not on the table right now.

Why it matters: There was a growing feeling within the military and senior defense establishment ahead of the cabinet meeting that Israel should start moving toward ending the operation.

Keep reading... Show less

Liz Cheney says she regrets voting for Trump in 2020

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was ousted Wednesday as the third-highest ranking House Republican, told ABC's "This Week" that she regrets voting for former President Trump in 2020, although she could never have supported Biden.

Why it matters: Cheney, voted out of House Republican leadership over her repeated condemnation of Trump and his unfounded claims of election fraud, plans to challenge the former president for ideological dominance of the GOP.

Keep reading... Show less

Blinken speaks with Associated Press CEO after Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza office

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt on Saturday after an Israeli airstrike destroyed the outlet's local media office in the Gaza Strip, which also housed the Al Jazeera office.

Why it matters: "The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what transpired today" Pruitt said in a statement — as fighting between Israel and Hamas continues to bring more casualties.

Keep reading... Show less


Consumers and retailers alike are still trying to figure out what Americans will want to wear as they head back out into the world after a year at home, in sweatpants.

Why it matters: The choices people make about their post-pandemic wardrobes will help define what, exactly, our “new normal” is. They'll indicate how both work and socializing have changed, and will tell the story of how people expressed themselves in the aftermath of a year of massive transformation.

Keep reading... Show less

UN Security Council meeting on Israel-Gaza as Netanyahu vows to continue strikes

The United Nations Security Council was preparing to meet Sunday, as the aerial bombardment between Israel and Hamas between entered a seventh day.

The latest: Four Palestinians died in airstrikes early Sunday, as Israeli forces bombed the home of Gaza's Hamas chief, Yehya al-Sinwar, per Reuters.

Keep reading... Show less

In photos: Protesters rally across U.S. and the world over Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Thousands of people rallied across the U.S. and the world Saturday following days of violence in Gaza and Israel that's killed at least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, and eight Israelis, per AP.

The big picture: Most demonstrations were in support of Palestinians. There were tense scenes between pro-Israeli government protesters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Winnipeg, Canada, and Leipzig, Germany, but no arrests were made, CBS News and report.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Keep reading... Show less

The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories