The US will share up to 60 million doses of its AstraZeneca vaccine with other countries as they become available, the White House has said. As many as 60 million doses are expected to be exported in the coming months after a federal safety review. The US has a stockpile of the vaccine even though its regulators have not yet authorised it for public use.
Critics have accused the government of hoarding the vaccine, while other countries are in desperate need. Last month President Joe Biden pledged to share about four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with Mexico and Canada – both of which have approved the jab. The crisis in India has also piled pressure on the Biden administration to share US health resources. However, the number of AstraZeneca doses each country will now be allotted is unclear, as is the expected delivery date. The AstraZeneca vaccine is widely in use around the world but not yet authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Before the vaccines can be shipped to other countries, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be reviewing the quality of the doses to make sure they meet U.S. expectations.
Around 10 million doses could be released “in the coming weeks,” pending FDA quality approval. Fifty million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine currently undergoing various stages of production, could be available to ship by May and June, pending a sign-off from the FDA.