The U.S. will send 2.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to support Mexico and Canada’s pandemic efforts, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Thursday.
The move is the first donation of COVID-19 vaccine doses the U.S. has made, and President Joe Biden’s administration said it is prioritizing vaccinating Americans. The Biden administration says the vaccine donation won’t affect its plan to have enough vaccine doses for all Americans by the end of May. (RELATED: As Vaccinations Ramp Up, One-Third Of Americans Still Say They Don’t Want One)
Psaki clarified in a Thursday press briefing that the donation of vaccine doses to Mexico did not come as part of a negotiation for Mexico to assist in the ongoing migration surge.
SCOOP: The U.S. plans to send 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico and 1.5 million doses to Canada, administration officials tell me. The loan does not affect @POTUS goal to have enough vaccine for all U.S. adults by the end of May.
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) March 18, 2021
Biden announced March 2 that the U.S. had ramped up its vaccine manufacturing and would obtain enough doses to vaccinate all Americans by the end of May. The administration had previously said all Americans wouldn’t have vaccines until the end of July.
The AstraZeneca doses sat in regulatory limbo for months under Biden following the transition away from President Donald Trump’s administration. The Trump administration ordered millions of doses, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve the vaccine as effective.
The Biden administration has not announced any further plans to donate vaccine doses internationally.