Want to save lives, thwart Covid variants: Sullivan on vaccine sharing

·2-min read

Washington, Jun 4 (PTI) After President Joe Biden announced the plan for sharing 25 million coronavirus vaccines with the world, his National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said their aim is to save lives and thwart infection variants. “As the president has said, the United States will not use its vaccines to secure favours from other countries,” he said.

“Our goal in sharing our vaccines is in service of ending the pandemic globally. Our overarching aim is to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible. It's as simple as that. We want to save lives and thwart variants that place all of us at risk,” he told reporters.

Sullivan said at least 75 per cent of these vaccines will be shared through COVAX.

This will maximise the number of vaccines available equitably for all countries and will facilitate sharing with those most at risk.

“We decided to share up to 25 per cent of these vaccines for immediate needs and to help with surges around the world. We can share these 25 per cent in a flexible way,” he said.

The US is sharing them in a wide range of countries within Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia and across Africa in coordination with the African Union.

“This includes prioritising our neighbours here in our hemisphere, including countries like Guatemala and Columbia, Peru and Ecuador and many others,” he said.

“Our approach also prioritises South and Southeast Asia, including countries like India, Nepal and the Philippines that are undergoing surges right now. It recognises our closest neighbours, Canada and Mexico, which received our first shared vaccines and friends like the Republic of Korea, where our military shares a command.

And it prioritises other partners around the world, including countries with low vaccination rates or dealing with urgent present crises, like the West Bank in Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Iraq and Haiti,” he said.

In the days ahead, the administration will coordinate closely with COVAX and with countries that will receive the vaccines.

“This is only the beginning. The president has committed to sharing doses on an ongoing basis, starting with 80 million by the end of June. We will continue to donate from our excess supply as that supply is delivered to us. We will work with our international partners to get ahead of the virus, to follow the science, and to help countries in crisis,” he said. PTI LKJ RDK RDK

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