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White House selects destinations for first wave of vaccine donations

The Biden administration has laid out its framework for sharing vaccines for the world and named the recipients of the first 25 million doses, taking a major step toward becoming a global vaccine supplier.

Why it matters: The U.S. had been the only major vaccine producer to keep virtually its entire supply at home while countries looked to Russia or China for doses. But Biden has pledged to share at least 80 million doses this month and additional shipments beyond that.

Driving the news: The White House said today that 75% of the first wave of doses would go through the WHO-backed COVAX initiative, with priority shipments to Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa.

  • Another 25% of the vaccines will be shared bilaterally to address immediate surges (with first doses available to Mexico and Canada).
  • Through COVAX, approximately 6 million doses are planned for South and Central America, including hard-hit Brazil. 7 million doses are expected to reach Asia, including India and Pakistan.
  • Africa will receive 5 million doses with recipient countries to be chosen through coordination with the African Union, the White House said.

What they're saying: “We want to save lives and thwart variants that place all of us at risk,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said at a press briefing Thursday.

  • “And as the president has said, the United States will not use its vaccines to secure favors from other countries.”

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