Biden appoints coordinator for US ‘vaccine diplomacy’ with the world

Coordinator Gayle Smith, who will take care of US diplomacy regarding the Covid-19 vaccine
Photo: Al Drago / Reuters

The Biden government has appointed this Monday (5) a coordinator to lead the diplomacy of the United States Covid-19 vaccine in the world while seeking to assure countries in search of more doses that Washington is acting as quickly as possible.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appointed Gayle Smith, a former US Agency for International Development (USAID) coordinator during the Obama administration, to the post of coordinator for Covid’s Global Response and Health Security Department at the State Department.

Speaking at the Department, Blinken said that while Washington guarantees its own stockpile of vaccines, the government has also begun to explore how it can share more with other countries. The United States has already administered more than 165 million doses of vaccines against Covid-19 until last Sunday (4) in the morning.

“I know that many countries are asking the United States to do more, some are getting desperate, because of the scope and scale of their emergencies with Covid. We listen to you, and I promise that we are acting as quickly as possible” , said.

US initiatives to increase vaccine supplies to the rest of the world come at the same time that Washington is working to tackle China’s vaccine diplomacy. Russia has also offered millions of doses with funding for an African Union purchasing scheme.

“We have already loaned vaccines to our closest neighbors, Mexico and Canada, and we will work with global partners in manufacturing and supply to ensure vaccines for everyone, everywhere,” said Blinken.

The United States, which has not yet authorized the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19, has announced that it plans to send about four million doses to Mexico and Canada in bilateral loan agreements with the two countries.

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