The announcement was made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who on Monday appointed Gayle Smith, former director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), to coordinate the American diplomacy in the distribution of vaccines .
In a speech at the State Department, Blinken said that President Joe Biden is aware of requests from several countries for the United States to contribute more to dose distribution globally and that he is working to meet the growing demand for vaccines.
As part of these efforts, Blinken recalled the agreements to pass on 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, not yet authorized for use in the country, to Mexico and Canada, in a kind of loan. He also cited a recent agreement with Australia, India and Japan to supply 1 billion doses to countries in Asia by the end of 2021.
The US attempt to enter vaccine diplomacy comes as more governments turn to China and Russia to obtain doses of immunizers developed by the two countries. The White House has also been criticized for Biden’s stance on prioritizing vaccination of Americans and contributing little to campaigns in other regions.
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