May 17, 2021 – The United States will send at least 20 million doses of US-approved COVID-19 vaccines overseas by the end of June, President Joe Biden announced on Monday.
“Over the past 118 days, our immunization program has led the world, and today we are taking another step to help the world,” he said at a press conference. “We know America will never be completely safe until the pandemic raging around the world is under control.”
His administration will send 20 million doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, in addition to the 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine already scheduled for shipment to other countries.
“No ocean is wide enough, no wall is high enough to protect us,” Biden said. “Rampant disease and death in other countries can destabilize those countries and pose a risk to us as well.”
He said the move will help prevent new variants from appearing in the world and crossing US borders.
“We need to help fight disease around the world to help us stay safe at home and do what it takes to help others,” Biden said. “It’s the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do. It’s the strongest thing to do.
AstraZeneca doses are still awaiting FDA clearance before they can be shipped.
“This is the highest number of doses given by a country in the world by 5,” said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, during a press briefing on Monday. “This will put 80 million doses worldwide by the end of June.”
The announcement comes just a week after the FDA approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for teens ages 12 to 15. The anticipation of federal approval has sparked an ethical debate among medical professionals: Should those doses set for American teens go overseas instead?
According to Biden, this is not a situation or / or a situation.
“The United States has ensured sufficient supplies for all eligible Americans, all Americans 12 years of age and over,” he said.
COVID cases are on the decline in all 50 states, Biden said. The CDC revised its guidelines last week, saying vaccinated residents no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors in most settings. Those currently at risk are those who are not vaccinated, he said.
“Since the vaccine is convenient and free, it would be an unnecessary tragedy to see an increase in cases among the unvaccinated,” he said.
Biden also announced a tax cut for U.S. families: Starting July 15, people with children 6 and under will receive payments of $ 300 per month, and those with children over 6 will be able to receive payments of $ 300 per month. receive up to $ 250 per month.
“This tax cut sends a clear and powerful message to American families with children: Help is on the way,” he said.
Currently, 60% of Americans have received at least one shot of the vaccine. COVID-related deaths have fallen by more than 80% and the administration aims to have 70% of the United States at least partially immunized by July 4.
“Every day the light at the end of this tunnel gets brighter,” Biden said. “The progress is undeniable, but we are not done yet.”
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