WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will begin making its first COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Africa in the coming days, with the ultimate goal of sharing 25 million doses this summer across the continent in partnership with the African Union.
The first donated doses will be sent to Ethiopia, Djibouti and Burkina Faso, said State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter, with the U.S. working with the COVAX global vaccine alliance. In all, doses will eventually go to 49 African countries.
The shipments come as part of an initial supply of 80 million doses that President Joe Biden had pledged to send out to the world by the end of June, though deliveries were slowed by regulatory and logistical hurdles in recipient countries. They mark the Biden administration’s down payment on a plan to buy and donate 500 million more doses for the world over the coming year.
To date the U.S. has shipped more than 53 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 30 countries and territories.
Zeke Miller And Matthew Lee, The Associated Press