Biden administration ships record 22 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 23 countries, many in Africa

The Biden administration this week shipped a record 22 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 23 countries, many in Africa, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced on Friday.

The vaccine doses being shipped to the world follow from the pledge made by President Biden in May to share 80 million doses globally, including 25 million doses to African nations.

African nations whose COVID-19 vaccine doses were shipped this week include Cameroon, Senegal, Zambia, Niger, The Gambia, Lesotho, Tanzania, Morocco, Benin, Mozambique, Madagascar, Liberia, and Eswatini.

“We shipped a record number of doses to a record number of countries this week. Twenty-two million doses went out to 23 countries, including Guatemala, Senegal, Zambia, Niger, Gambia, El Salvador, Honduras, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Lesotho, Panama, Vietnam, Georgia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Mozambique, Benin, Morocco, Tajikistan, Colombia, Madagascar, Liberia, and Eswatini,” Psaki said at a White House press briefing Friday.
“Our teams across the government are working to get more and more doses out every day, but this was a record week for our efforts to provide supply to the global community,” she added.

Apart from the 80 million vaccine doses currently being shared globally, President Biden’s pledge at the G7 summit last June to donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine to the world will become a reality from next month when the first doses begin to go out, his top official told reporters on Wednesday.

“We’re in the process of delivering the 25 million doses, working closely with the African Union, governments, and COVAX to get these on the ground as quickly as possible,” Gayle E. Smith, State Department Coordinator for Global COVID-19 Response and Health Security, told reporters at an online briefing on Wednesday. “I’m also pleased to tell you that in August, the doses that the President committed just before the G7, 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, will also start moving in August, and a significant portion of those will also be deployed to Africa.” 

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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