Today, the United States announced it plans to spend roughly 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that it is not using to Canada and Mexico through loan deals with the two countries, the White House confirmed today.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that several countries, including Canada and Mexico, have asked the U.S. for doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but those loan deals are still being worked out.
Psaki confirmed today that the U.S. has “seven million releasable doses” of the AstraZeneca vaccine “available.”
“2.5 million of those, we are working to finalize plans to lend those to Mexico, and 1.5 million to Canada,” she said.
“It’s not fully finalized yet. It’s our aim and what we’re working toward, to Canada and Mexico. It’s a complex process and our team is working with the companies to move it forward.”
According to Reuters, the doses of the vaccine can be used immediately once they arrive. Under the deal, the United States will share doses with Mexico and Canada now — with the understanding that they will send the United States doses in return. The official said that would take place later this year.
The Biden administration has come under pressure from allies worldwide to share vaccine doses — particularly the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is authorized for use in other countries but not yet cleared for use in the United States.
AstraZeneca has millions of doses made in a U.S. facility and has said that it would have 30 million shots ready at the beginning of April.
The deal does not affect President Joe Biden’s plan to have vaccine doses available for all adults in the United States by the end of May, an official told Reuters. The deal is likely to be announced publicly in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the UK’s pharmaceutical regulator reports that a “rigorous scientific review” has ruled out the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as the cause of blood clots in the veins.
The regulator is doing a more detailed study of blood clots in the brain.
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