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Vaccine Diplomacy: U.S. commits 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines Updated: 2021-05-18 15:54:28 KST

U.S.'s vaccine diplomacy has begun committing 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized for use in the United States.

"We'll share these vaccines in the service of ending the pandemic everywhere, and we will not use our vaccines to secure favors from other countries. We'll work with Covax, the international organizations set up, and other partners to ensure that the vaccines are delivered in a way that is equitable and that follows the science and the public health data."

The decision comes as according to U.S. federal data, nearly 60 percent of U.S. citizens have received at least one dose.
20 million of the donated doses will be of the Moderna, Pfizer, and Janssen vaccines types that are authorized for use on its own citizens.
Last month, the U.S. also committed 60 million locally-produced AstraZeneca doses, but it has yet to authorize the vaccine for use domestically.
The commitment comes after China recently slammed the U.S. for hoarding vaccines and putting "America first."

"Even with a huge population and facing a shortage in domestic vaccine supply, China so far has provided more than 160 countries and international organizations with assistance and anti-pandemic supplies, and is providing much-needed vaccines for over 100 countries and international organizations in different ways."

China's vaccine has been donated to the participants of its "One Road, One Belt" policy which includes countries from Africa to the Indo-Pacific region.
For the U.S., in addition to looking after its allies helping countries in the Indo-Pacific region would be important strategically.

"There are big economic benefits for the countries in this region. They can offer good trade routes as well as geological presence. Also, the digital markets are important such as Amazon and Google and the communication devices that follow."

In addition to direct supplies the U.S. and China back the waiving of international patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines which would pave the way for countries which need them to manufacture their own.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
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