WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will announce on Monday that his administration will send an additional 20 million Covid-19 vaccines abroad by the end of June, including for the first time vaccines that have been approved for use in the United States.
The 20 million does of U.S.-approved shots are in addition to Biden’s previous commitment to share 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with other countries.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the AstraZeneca doses are still waiting FDA approval before they can be shipped out.
“This is the most doses donated by any country in the world by five times,” Psaki said. “This will put 80 million doses out into the world by the end of June.”
Psaki said that the administration will announce more in the coming days about how the White House is deciding which countries are getting the vaccines.
The announcement comes as the demand for vaccines in the U.S. is declining, and as the fast pace of the vaccine rollout in the U.S. and other wealthy countries has drawn scrutiny from critics noting the contrast with that of other, poorer countries struggling to obtain vaccines.
Experts have warned that global vaccination inequality could prolong the pandemic for everyone if the coronavirus continues to mutate, which could make it more infectious and resistant to vaccines.