The United States will start sharing its stockpile of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine with other countries, the Biden administration said on April 26, 2021.
The United States plans to share all the doses it has, provided they pass safety reviews. As many as 60 million doses will be sent to other countries in the coming months.
The administration sent several million doses to Mexico and Canada last month, but has been holding onto the bulk of the stockpile as a reserve.
AstraZeneca’s shot is authorized for use in a number of countries, even though dozens of people have died from post-vaccination blood clots in the UK and elsewhere. U.S. drug regulators are considering granting emergency authorization but have not yet done so.
“Given the strong portfolio of vaccines that the United States has already authorized and that is available in large quantities, including two 2-dose vaccines and one one-dose vaccine, and given that 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,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told a briefing in Washington.
The vaccines will be shared with other countries “as they become available,” Andy Slavitt, a White House senior adviser for the COVID-19 response, wrote on Twitter.
“To everyone who understandably says: ‘about time’ or ‘what were they waiting for,’ at this time there are still very few available. No real time has been lost,” he wrote.
White House officials have said there are enough doses for Americans among the three vaccines greenlit by U.S. drug regulators, even with the nearly two-week pause of Johnson & Johnson’s shot because of concerns of post-vaccination blood clots. Nearly 29 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against the CCP virus as of April 26, 2021.