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COVAX will help decide how many U.S. vaccine doses Taiwan will get

ROC Central News Agency

06/05/2021 02:49 PM

Washington, June 4 (CNA) After the U.S. announced plans to allocate an initial 7 million COVID-19 vaccines to countries in Asia, including Taiwan, a U.S. State Department official said on Friday that the decision on how many vaccines each country will get will be made in consultation with the global vaccine-sharing program COVAX and the governments of the relevant countries, and that it will be based on where they are most needed and can be effectively used.

U.S. State Department global COVID-19 coordinator Gayle Smith explained how the vaccines will be allocated in a telephone briefing on Friday, and added that a number of regulatory and legal procedures still have to be completed before the shipments can begin. The United States' goal in sharing the vaccines is to end the pandemic by quickly raising global vaccination rates, and is not based on political considerations, she added.

When asked for details of the distribution on Friday, a White House spokesperson told CNA an official update would be provided "once there is movement on any shipments."

The U.S. announced on Thursday that it plans to share 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with countries around the world by the end of June, and of the first 25 million, 19 million will be distributed through the COVAX program.

Of those, 7 million doses will go to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and the Pacific Islands, the White House said in a statement.

The statement did not specify how many doses each country will get or when exactly the vaccines will be delivered.

Taiwan's representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said that based on her understanding, the U.S. is still finalizing its distribution plans, and will announce more details in the coming days.

Currently, she said, her focus is on ensuring that the doses allocated for Taiwan can be quickly delivered.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Matthew Mazzetta)

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