Biden announces US will share more COVID-19 vaccines globally

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden said Monday that his administration will share millions more doses of COVID-19 vaccines with other countries in addition to the 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine he has already committed to sharing by July 4.

Biden said the US will share at least 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of next month, totaling 80 million doses that are set to be sent abroad. Those additional 20 million doses will consist of Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as well as AstraZeneca, which has to be approved by federal regulators before being shipped overseas. That effort is underway.

"This is the most doses donated by any country in the world by five times," press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a White House briefing.

CNN previously reported Biden would announce the US would share more vaccines globally.

Biden added that White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients is in charge of this effort, in coordination with the National Security Council and State Department.

Bloomberg was first to report the news of the additional doses being shared.

As more and more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19, the Biden administration has been taking steps toward helping other nations get their populations vaccinated as the pandemic worsens globally.

Last month, the Biden administration committed to sharing up to 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses, which will not be needed in the US, in the following two months.

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is not one of the three vaccines that has received emergency use authorization in the US -- only the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been cleared for use.

In February, Biden said a $2 billion in US contribution would go toward a global coronavirus vaccine initiative. The funding -- which Biden announced on a call with G7 leaders -- will provide support to COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, or COVAX. That initiative is led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, along with the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

Biden also pledged an additional $2 billion in funding contingent on contributions from other nations and dose delivery targets being met.

The President has said there will be enough COVID-19 vaccine supply for every American adult by the end of this month. Nearly 123 million Americans are fully vaccinated in the US and nearly 60% of US adults have received at least one dose, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The US Food and Drug Administration also recently approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents ages 12 to 15.

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