Biden outlines vaccine plan, set to miss global-sharing goal
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is expected to fall short of his commitment to shipping 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad by the end of June because of regulatory and other hurdles, officials said as they announced new plans Monday for sharing the shots globally.
The White House announced the final allocations for the doses, with 60 million shots going to the global COVAX vaccine-sharing alliance and 20 million being directed to specific partners. But fewer than 10 million doses have been shipped around the world, including 2.5 million doses delivered to Taiwan over the weekend, and about 1 million doses delivered to Mexico, Canada and South Korea earlier this month.
Officials said that while the U.S.-produced doses are ready, deliveries have been delayed due to U.S. and the recipient countries' legal, logistical and regulatory requirements.
“What we’ve found to be the biggest challenge is not actually the supply — we have plenty of doses to share with the world — but this is a Herculean logistical challenge," said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Psaki said shipments will go out as soon as countries are ready to receive the doses and the administration sorts out logistical complexities, including vaccination supplies like syringes and alcohol prep pads, cold-storage for the doses, customs procedures and even language barriers.
Psaki said she was not aware of how many doses would be shipped by the end of the month.
The excess doses are not needed in the U.S., where demand for vaccinations has plummeted in recent weeks as more than 177 million Americans have received at least one shot.
On May 17, Biden announced that "over the next six weeks, the United States of America will send 80 million doses overseas. This will be more vaccines than any...