President Joe Biden said the U.S. wants to share coronavirus vaccines with other countries but won’t begin sending doses abroad until it has sufficient supply at home.
“We’re looking at what is going to be done with some of the vaccines that we are not using. We’ve got to make sure they are safe to be sent,” Biden said at the White House Wednesday. “And we hope to be able to be of some help and value to countries around the world.”
Biden spoke at an event marking the 200 millionth administered vaccine shot of his presidency, and a “new phase” in which he urged American adults to get vaccinated as soon as they can.
The administration has so far “loaned” 4.2 million doses of AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine, which isn’t yet authorized for use in the U.S. but is already piling up to fill a U.S. order. The loan went to Canada and Mexico.
Biden said he spoke Wednesday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and signaled another loan may be coming, but he warned that there could be delays.
“We helped a little bit there, we’re going to try and help some more,” Biden said. “But there’s other countries as well that I’m confident we can help, including in Central America. So, it’s in process. We don’t have enough to be confident to send it abroad now. But I expect we’re going to be able to do that.”
It isn’t clear whether Biden would consider sharing more unused AstraZeneca doses before the U.S. has sufficient overall supply. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a question about his remarks.
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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