© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled “COVID-19 Vaccine” and a medical syringe in this illustration taken on April 10, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / File Photo
By Humeyra Pamuk
SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that President Joe Biden may announce details of Washington’s plan to distribute 80 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine on Thursday. Worldwide.
“I want you to also know that in a few days … possibly tomorrow, the president is going to announce in more detail the plan that he has developed to launch 80 million vaccines worldwide,” he said. Blinken at a meeting at the United States Embassy in Costa Rica.
Blinken reiterated that the US distribution plan would be coordinated with the COVAX vaccine exchange facility and based on need “without any political commitment.”
“Even as we do, we must work very hard to increase manufacturing capacity in the United States and around the world, so that we can … stay ahead of this virus and lead the world in vaccinating,” he said.
Blinken said that the trajectory of vaccines just a few weeks ago was such that between 70% and 80% of people worldwide would not be vaccinated until 2024.
“We can accelerate this, we will accelerate this,” he said. “I think we have a chance to do this by the end of next year. So stay tuned.”
Blinken had said at a press conference in Costa Rica on Tuesday that the Biden administration would focus on equitable distribution of vaccines and would not tie political strings to the process, a criticism sometimes directed at China.
Biden has said his administration will send at least 20 million doses of the Pfizer Inc (NYSE :). N> / BioNTech SE, Modern (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE :), plus 60 million doses of AstraZeneca (NASDAQ 🙂 Plc that it had already planned to deliver to other countries.
The Biden administration has been under pressure to share vaccines to help curb the worsening outbreaks from India to Brazil, where health experts fear that new, more contagious coronavirus variants could undermine the effectiveness of available vaccines.
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