By Humeyra Pamuk
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) – The United States will announce in the next two weeks how it will sell and distribute 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses it has pledged globally, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado, Blinken said the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden will focus on equitable distribution of the immunizations and not tie political strings to the process.
Biden on Monday said his administration will send at least 20 million doses of the Pfizer (NYSE:) Inc/BioNTech SE, Moderna (NASDAQ:) Inc and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:) vaccines, on top of 60 million AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:) Plc doses he had already planned to give to other countries.
“Some time within the next two weeks we will be announcing the process by which we will distribute and sell those vaccines,” Blinken said during his first trip as secretary of state to Latin America, which is fighting to contain COVID-19.
Blinken said the announcement will reveal the criteria and details of the process.
The Biden administration has been under pressure to share vaccines to help curb worsening outbreaks from India to Brazil, where health experts fear new, more contagious coronavirus variants could undermine the effectiveness of available shots.
As the pandemic outlook within the United States brightens with advancing vaccinations, the aid pledge is central to the administration’s drive to use U.S. vaccine supply as a tool to counter Chinese and Russian vaccine diplomacy.
Costa Rica’s Alvarado stressed that his country was hoping for prompt news on vaccine distribution.
Earlier on Tuesday, the World Bank urged the United States to free up excess vaccines.
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.