The U.S. government plans to share as many as 60 million doses of the
Covid-19 vaccine with the rest of the world, the White House said Monday.
“The administration is looking at options to share American-made AstraZeneca vaccine doses during the next few months,” White House press secretary
said, adding that the U.S. was confident in its supply of other available vaccines. “Given AstraZeneca is not authorized for use in the United States, we do not need to use AstraZeneca in our fight against Covid over the next few months.”
Ms. Psaki said the Food and Drug Administration would confirm that all AstraZeneca doses meet safety expectations before they are shipped from the U.S.
The Biden administration has faced growing pressure to share vaccine doses with developing countries and other nations that have been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. A surge in India, which for the fifth consecutive day set a record for the world’s largest single-day increase in new cases, prompted calls for the U.S. to share its AstraZeneca supply with the Indian government as the latter struggles to vaccinate its population.
AstraZeneca declined to comment on whether it was consulted on the decision. “The doses are part of AstraZeneca’s supply commitments to the U.S. government,” a spokeswoman for AstraZeneca said in an email. “Decisions to send U.S. supply to other countries are made by the U.S. government.”
The Biden administration said last month it would share roughly four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with Mexico and Canada. The White House said at the time those doses would be seen as a loan, with the expectation that the nations would send doses to the U.S. later.
As more U.S. adults get their Covid-19 vaccines, a variety of side effects are emerging. WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez speaks with an infectious-disease specialist on what is common, what isn’t and when to seek medical attention. Photo: Associated Press
The Biden administration has said it has secured enough doses to inoculate the eligible U.S. population. But officials have said the U.S. needs to hold on to additional doses for possible booster shots and for when the vaccine is authorized for children.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials have turned from managing a flood of interest in the vaccines to persuading those who are unsure about getting it. The U.S. weekly average of vaccine doses administered, which has been generally rising since mid-December, ticked down recently.
AstraZeneca has encountered setbacks in meeting its supply agreements. The European Union said Monday that it was suing AstraZeneca for failure to deliver on its Covid-19 vaccine contract.
Reported cases of rare blood clotting in Europe raised concerns recently about the AstraZeneca vaccine’s safety. European regulators have said the benefits of using the vaccine outweigh its potential risks, but they recommended that EU governments add a warning to the vaccine’s product information.
—Joseph Walker contributed to this article.
Write to Sabrina Siddiqui at Sabrina.Siddiqui@wsj.com
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