The US will begin taking its entire stock of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines worldwide once it clears general safety inspections. The White House announced Monday, with as many as 60 million doses expected to be available for shipping in the coming months.
The move greatly increases the Biden government’s action last month to share about 4 million doses of the vaccine with Mexico and Canada.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is broadly in use worldwide but has not yet been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The White House is more feeling confident about the supply of the three vaccines being offered in the US, particularly about the restart of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot over the weekend.
The US has also been under mounting stress in recent weeks to share more of its vaccine supply with the world, as countries like India experience devastating floods of the virus and others try to access doses required to guard their most vulnerable populations.
“Given the strong portfolio of jabs that the US already has and that has been authorized by the FDA, and given that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized for use in the US, we do not need to use the AstraZeneca vaccine here during the next several months,” said White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients.
“Therefore, the US is looking at issues to share the AstraZeneca doses with other countries as they grow free.”
More than 3 million characters global have died of COVID-19, including more than 572,000 in the US.
53% of American adults vaccinated
The US has examined more than 53% of its adult citizens with at least one dose of its three recommended vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and J&J, and it expects to have enough equipment for its entire people by early summer.