TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has been included in the U.S.' immediate plans to donate 7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Asia-Pacific region to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The White House on Thursday (June 3) announced its plan to share an initial 25 million doses of surplus coronavirus vaccines with the world. This first shipment is part of the approximately 80 million coronavirus doses President Joe Biden has pledged to donate internationally by the end of June, as vaccination rates throughout the world remain alarmingly low.
The White House laid out its framework for distributing the 80 million doses, saying that 75 percent would be shared through the United Nations-backed COVAX program.
U.S. shots shared through COVAX will be prioritized for Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa. The remaining 25 percent will be sent to countries in immediate need.
In regard to the first batch of 25 million jabs, 19 million, or 75 percent, will be distributed through COVAX, including 6 million for Latin America and the Caribbean, roughly 7 million doses to South and Southeast Asia, and around 5 million to Africa.
Taiwan is among the Asia Pacific nations listed by the U.S., along with India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands.
The remaining 6 million doses from this first shipment will go to U.S. allies and partners, including Mexico, Canada, South Korea, West Bank and Gaza, India, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as U.N. frontline workers.
The White House said the first 25 million shots will be sent from existing stockpiles of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. More jabs are expected to be made available for donation over the next coming months, AP reported.