The United States has announced a plan to distribute 55 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to a number of countries across Asia, including Laos.
The 55 million doses are part of the 80 million Covid-19 vaccine doses that US President Joe Biden has pledged to allocate by the end of this month.
At least 75% of these donated vaccines will be shared with the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative, and 25% will be shared directly with countries in need, the White House said in a statement.
“Our goals are to increase global COVID-19 vaccination coverage, prepare for surges and prioritize healthcare workers and other vulnerable populations based on public health data and acknowledged best practice, and help our neighbors and other countries in need,” the White House said. “And, as we have previously stated, the United States will not use its vaccines to secure favors from other countries.”
Some 41 million of the second tranche of 55 million doses will be shared through COVAX, with 16 million of the COVAX allocations to be distributed in Asia and sent to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Cambodia and the Pacific Islands.
Another 10 million of the COVAX doses will go toward countries in Africa that will be selected in coordination with the African Union.
Approximately 14 million, or 25% of the 55 million vaccines, will be sent directly to Colombia, Argentina, Haiti, other CARICOM countries, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Cabo Verde, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Oman, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova and Bosnia.
The White House did not provide exact figures for how many doses would be sent to each country, only estimates for regions in general.
The doses will consist of Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines.