US says it has donated more than 100 mn vaccine doses

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The United States says it will ship half a billion dozes of the Pfizer vaccine to poor countries starting late this month

The United States has now donated more than 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to other countries, the White House said Tuesday.

It said this is more than that donated by all other countries combined and marks "just the beginning" of President Joe Biden's efforts to ship the live-saving medicine around the world.

The United States has shipped 111,701 doses to 60 countries, mostly through the international vaccine distribution system known as Covax, but also in conjunction with organizations such as the African Union and the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM.

"According to the United Nations, this is more than the donations of all other countries combined and reflects the generosity of the American spirit," a White House statement said.

Major recipients of donated vaccine include Indonesia, the Philippines, Colombia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and South Africa.

The does "are just the beginning of the Administration’s efforts to provide vaccines to the world," the statement reads.

Starting late this month the United States will start sending 500 million Pfizer doses that it has pledged to purchase and donate to 100 low-income countries.

The White House insisted that the US does not use vaccines to curry favor with other countries and just wants to save lives. China and Russia have been accused of engaging in so-called "vaccine diplomacy".

Biden was to give a speech later Tuesday to discuss his efforts to push vaccination abroad and at home, as the Delta variant surges and triggers new coronavirus health restrictions by government authorities and companies.

aue/dw/bgs

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