Coronavirus
US pledges 6 million vaccine doses to South and Central America
In a statement, the White House said that of the first 25 million doses, 19 million will be shared through COVAX.

The United States will send approximately 6 million vaccines to Central and South America as part of a wider allocation plan to deliver the first 25 million of 80 million vaccine doses globally, the White House announced on Thursday.

In a statement, the White House said that of the first 25 million doses, 19 million will be shared through COVAX.

Of these, approximately 6 million will be shared to nations in South and Central America, including 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.

Another 7 million vaccines are slated to go to Asia, while 5 million will be sent to Africa.

Additionally, another 6 million doses will be shared outside of the COVAX framework to "regional priorities and partner recipients", including Mexico, Canada, South Korea, the West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen, as well as for United Nations workers.

"The sharing of millions of U.S. vaccines with other countries signals a major commitment by the U.S. government," the White House said in a statement. "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."

Of these, approximately 6 million will be shared to nations in South and Central America, including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti and other Caribbean Community

The White House added that the President "has directed the Administration to use all the levers of the US 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."

In a separate statement, the Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson Symone Sanders said that Vice President Kamala Harris held a number of phone calls with world leaders about the vaccine distribution, including Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, Indian President Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Keith Rowley, Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

"The Vice President reiterated that the Administration's efforts are focused on achieving broad global coverage, responding to surges and other urgent situations and public health needs, and helping as many countries as possible who requested vaccines," Sanders said.

In April, research unveiled by the World Bank indicated that vaccinating 60% of the population of each country by March 2022 would likely be sufficient to achieve worldwide herd immunity, under a scenario with limited virus mutation.

The World Bank noted that the target appears to be "achievable" given current production levels, although it still requires addressing a procurement gap of 350 million vaccine courses in low and middle-income countries around the world.

"There are additional challenges along the path of achieving world-wide herd immunity, including supply chain issues, trade restrictions, vaccine delivery and mutations," the World Bank said. "Overall, however, this analysis suggests multilateral action now can bring an end to the acute phase of the pandemic early next year." 

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