Statement by President Joe Biden on Global Vaccine Distribution
June 3, 2021
As the United States continues our efforts to get every eligible American vaccinated and fight COVID-19 here at home, we also recognize that ending this pandemic means ending it everywhere. As long as this pandemic is raging anywhere in the world, the American people will still be vulnerable. And the United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts that we have demonstrated at home.
Already the United States has committed $4 billion to support COVAX, and we have launched partnerships to boost global capacity to manufacture more vaccines. My administration supports efforts to temporarily waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines because, over time, we need more companies producing life-saving doses of proven vaccines that are shared equitably. We have already shared more than 4 million doses of vaccine with Canada and Mexico, and last month, I announced that, by the end of June, the United States will share 80 million doses of our vaccine supply with the world.
Today, we’re providing more detail on how we will allocate the first 25 million of those vaccines to lay the ground for increased global coverage and to address real and potential surges, high burdens of disease, and the needs of the most vulnerable countries. At least 75 percent of these doses—nearly 19 million—will be shared through COVAX, including approximately 6 million doses for Latin America and the Caribbean, approximately 7 million for South and Southeast Asia, and approximately 5 million for Africa, working in coordination with the African Union and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The remaining doses, just over 6 million, will be shared directly with countries experiencing surges, those in crisis, and other partners and neighbors, including Canada, Mexico, India, and the Republic of Korea.
We are sharing these doses not to secure favors 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.
Strong American leadership is essential to ending this pandemic now, and to strengthening global health security for tomorrow—to better prevent, detect, and respond to the next threat. The United States will be the world’s arsenal of vaccines in our shared fight against this virus. In the days to come, as we draw on the experience of distributing the vaccine doses announced today, we will have more details to provide about how future doses will be shared. And we will continue to do all we can to build a world that is safer and more secure against the threat of infectious disease.
As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at home and work to end the pandemic worldwide, President Biden has promised that the United States will be an arsenal of vaccines for the world. To do that, the Administration will pursue several additional measures beyond our robust funding for COVAX: Donating from the U.S. vaccine supply to the world and encouraging other nations to do the same, working with U.S. manufacturers to increase vaccine production for the rest of the world, and helping more countries expand their own capacity to produce vaccines including through support for global supply chains. This vaccine strategy is a vital component of our overall global strategy to lead the world in the fight to defeat COVID-19, including emergency public health assistance and aid to stop the spread and building global public health capacity and readiness to beat not just this pandemic, but the next one.
Today, the Administration announced its framework for sharing at least 80 million U.S. vaccine doses globally by the end of June and the plan for the first 25 million doses.
Specifically, the Administration announced that:
The United States will share vaccines in service of ending the pandemic globally. Today, the Administration announced its framework for sharing these 80 million U.S. vaccine doses worldwide. Specifically, the United States will:
Share 75% of these vaccines through COVAX. The United States will share at least three-quarters of its donated doses through COVAX, supplying U.S. doses to countries in need. This will maximize the number of vaccines available equitably for the greatest number of countries and for those most at-risk within countries. For doses shared through COVAX, the United States will prioritize Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa, in coordination with the African Union.
Share 25% for immediate needs and to help with surges around the world. The United States has received requests for vaccines from countries all over the world. The U.S. will share up to one-quarter of its donated doses directly with countries in need, those experiencing surges, immediate neighbors, and other countries that have requested immediate U.S. assistance. Specifically, we will:
- Set the stage for increased global coverage. The allocation of this first tranche of donated doses reflects the desire of the United States to respond to all regions and lay the ground for increased supply and access throughout the world.
- Prepare for surges and prioritize healthcare workers and other vulnerable populations based on public health data and acknowledged best practice. We will share with countries in urgent need, with a priority on vaccinating frontline workers. The United States will not use its vaccines to secure favors from other countries. The U.S. will work with partners who are both ready and in need. And, our donations will prioritize countries with vaccine readiness plans that prioritize individuals at highest risk of severe disease and those working to help care for them, like health care workers.
- Help countries in need and our neighbors. The United States will share vaccines in our region and across our borders. We first made doses available to our closest neighbors – Canada and Mexico. Our dose sharing approach prioritizes Latin American and the Caribbean on a per capita basis.\
The U.S. announced the proposed allocation plan for the first 25 Million doses. Based on the framework above and pending legal and regulatory approvals, the United States plans to send our first tranche of 25 million doses:
- Nearly 19 million will be shared through COVAX, with the following allocations:
o Approximately 6 million for South and Central America to the following countries: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, as well as the Dominican Republic.
o Approximately 7 million for Asia to the following countries: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, and the Pacific Islands.
o Approximately 5 million for Africa to be shared with countries that will be selected in coordination with the African Union.
Approximately 6 million will be targeted toward regional priorities and partner recipients, including Mexico, Canada, and the Republic of Korea, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as for United Nations frontline workers.
The sharing of millions of U.S. vaccines with other countries signals a major commitment by the U.S. government. Just like in the United States, we will move as expeditiously as possible, while abiding by U.S. and host country regulatory and legal requirements, to facilitate the safe and secure transport of vaccines across international borders. This will take time, but the President has directed the Administration to use all the levers of the U.S. government to protect individuals from this virus as quickly as possible. The specific vaccines and amounts will be determined and shared as the Administration works through the logistical, regulatory and other parameters particular to each region and country.