The U.S. is planning to donate around 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine globally after a federal safety review is conducted, the Associated Press reported Monday.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has not been approved for distribution in the U.S., though other countries have widely administered the vaccine, the AP reported. The U.S. has been pressured to share vaccine doses for vulnerable populations as other countries struggle with increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections.
“Given the strong portfolio of vaccines that the U.S. already has and that have been authorized by the FDA, and given that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized for use in the U.S., we do not need to use the AstraZeneca vaccine here during the next several months,” White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said, the AP reported.
“Therefore the U.S. is looking at options to share the AstraZeneca doses with other countries as they become available,” Zients added, according to the AP.
The US will begin sharing millions of AstraZeneca’s doses with other countries soon, CNN has confirmed. The US has millions stockpiled but hasn’t used bc it hasn’t received FDA authorization. Multiple countries have pressed Biden to share — and this news follows a call with Modi.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) April 26, 2021
Around 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are currently available and about 50 million others are in production and expected to be finished in May and June, the AP reported. The AstraZeneca vaccine has yet not met the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “expectations for product quality,” according to Zients.
The Biden administration gave about 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Mexico and Canada in March, and both countries have requested more, the AP reported. The Biden administration has not decided where the 60 million doses will be sent.
The U.S. government contracted AstraZeneca to produce 300 million doses of its vaccine, the AP reported. The company used an Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore that botched some J&J vaccines and was ordered to stop production of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
AstraZeneca is looking for another plant to produce its vaccine, according to the AP. The company also ran into issues with its 30,000-person clinical trial and did not file for emergency use within the U.S.
Over 53% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a vaccination distributed by Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, and the Biden administration expects to have enough vaccines for the entire country in early summer, according to the AP. Over 3 million people have died of COVID-19, including over 572,000 people in the U.S.