White House announces allocation plan for 55M more global vaccine doses

The White House on Monday announced where the U.S. would send 55 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses allocated for other countries.

The Biden administration had already committed these doses as part of a pledge to allocate 80 million by the end of June, and an initial 25 million doses, announced earlier this month, have “begun shipping,” the White House said.

It’s not quite what the administration originally said: The White House had previously said it would “send” 80 million doses by the end of June, but on Monday it said it would “allocate,” but not necessarily have the shipments on their way by that time. Asked about the delay, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said logistical hurdles, not the supply of doses, is at issue.

“What we’ve found to be the biggest challenge is not actually the supply, we have plenty of doses to share with the world, but this is a Herculean logistical challenge and we’ve seen that as we’ve begun to implement,” Psaki said, pointing to issues of sharing “safety and regulatory information,” and ensuring proper storage and temperature requirements.

Where are the doses going? About 41 million will be shared through COVAX, the World Health Organization-backed program to equitably distribute doses worldwide. About 14 million of those will go to Latin America and the Caribbean. About 16 million will go to Asia. About 10 million will go to Africa, for countries “selected in coordination with the African Union.”

Another 14 million doses will be shared outside of COVAX, with “regional priorities and other recipients.” Those countries include Colombia, Argentina, Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.