President Joe Biden announced on Monday that the U.S. will share more doses of vaccines with the rest of the world, starting by sending at least 20 million additional doses to help countries battling the pandemic by the end of June.
"These are vaccinations and vaccines that are authorized to be put in arms of Americans and, by the end of June, when we'll have taken delivery of enough of such vaccines to protect everyone in the United States, the United States will share at least 20 million of those doses, that extra supply, with other countries," Biden said. "This means over the next six weeks, the United States of America will send 80 million doses overseas."
Those doses, expected to be of Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson as they become available, are in addition to the 60 million doses of AztraZeneca that the administration previously announced it would share overseas.
He did not detail which countries would get the vaccines.
Biden touted that the total number of vaccines donated is "more vaccines than any country has actually shared to date, five times more than any other country." Biden made sure to mention this total is larger than the number of doses geopolitical rivals China and Russia have shared with the international community.
Biden pledged that it will be “democracy” that will lead the world out of the war with the virus, announcing the United States will undertake a new, “multilateral effort” to end the pandemic.
“In the weeks ahead, working the world -- with the world's democracies, we’ll coordinate a multilateral effort to end this pandemic. I expect to announce progress in this area at the G7 Summit in the United Kingdom in June which I plan on attending. This is a unique moment in history, and it requires American leadership,” Biden said.
Biden acknowledged that this would take some time, and would require other nations help cover the cost of the effort, but stressed that those investments would help end the current pandemic, and leave the world "with the manufacturing capacity here to prepare for the next crisis, the next vaccine needed."
Biden also announced that White House COVID coordinator Jeff Zients will take the lead on the new international effort as well, working alongside the National Security Council, and a cross-government team, including Gayle Smith from the State Department to lead diplomacy efforts, and experts from Health and Human Services and the Agency for International Development.
Biden touted the progress on vaccinations at home, noting that by Tuesday, 60% of all adults will have received at least one dose of vaccine, putting the White House 10% away from the July 4 goal of at least 70% it set out at the beginning of May.
“Everyday, the light at the end of that tunnel is growing brighter,” Biden said.