The Biden administration on Thursday announced a plan to share the first 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses with the rest of the world and an overall framework of distributing at least 80 million doses by the end of June.
At least 75% of these donated vaccines will be shared with the COVAX global vaccination program, and 25% will be shared directly with countries in need, the White House said.
"We are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions. We are sharing these vaccines to save lives and to lead the world in bringing an end to the pandemic, with the power of our example and with our values," President Joe Biden said in a statement.
As part of the first round of 25 million doses being distributed, 19 million will be shared through COVAX. Approximately 6 million of those doses will be sent to South and Central America -- specifically to Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti and other Caribbean Community countries, as well as the Dominican Republic.
Approximately 7 million doses will be distributed in Asia to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and the Pacific Islands. Additionally, approximately 5 million will be sent to Africa to be shared with countries that will be selected in coordination with the African Union.
The other 6 million doses from the first round of 25 million will be sent to Mexico, Canada, the Republic of Korea, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen, and will be used to vaccinate United Nations frontline workers.
"Strong American leadership is essential to ending this pandemic now, and to strengthening global health security for tomorrow -- to better prevent, detect, and respond to the next threat," the President said in the statement.
Biden continued: "The United States will be the world's arsenal of vaccines in our shared fight against this virus. In the days to come, as we draw on the experience of distributing the vaccine doses announced today, we will have more details to provide about how future doses will be shared. And we will continue to do all we can to build a world that is safer and more secure against the threat of infectious disease."
CNN had previously reported that Biden finalized his plan to distribute millions of coronavirus vaccines worldwide after months of deliberation.
Biden said earlier this month the US would share an additional 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of June on top of the 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine the President had already committed to sharing by July 4. The additional 20 million doses will consist of Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as well as AstraZeneca, which has to be approved by federal regulators before being shipped overseas.
White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said Thursday during a White House briefing the US would continue to donate additional doses across the summer months as supply becomes available.
Zients is in charge of leading the global vaccine sharing effort and is coordinating with the National Security Council and State Department.
This story is breaking and will be updated.