UN welcomes US move to donate Covid vaccines for poorer nations

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The United Nations chief is welcoming the Biden administration’s announcement that it will be donating millions of doses of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to the U.N.-backed COVAX facility as well as to individual countries and U.N. front-line personnel in challenging and dangerous locations.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also “extremely grateful” to the U.S. government for including U.N. personnel and diplomats and staff of the 193 U.N. member-nations in the U.S. vaccination program.

Biden announced Thursday the U.S. will swiftly donate an initial allotment of 25 million doses of surplus vaccine overseas through the COVAX program, which to date has shared just 76 million doses with needy countries. Overall, the White House has announced plans to share 80 million doses globally by the end of June, most through COVAX.

Dujarric said the donation to U.N. frontline personnel will allow staff members “to stay and deliver critical services to vulnerable people around the world in a safe and effective manner.”

Guterres renews his call for countries to share vaccines, particularly with countries struggling with new surges and variants, Dujarric said.

“There is an urgent need for increased global solidarity to ensure that vaccines are available to everyone, everywhere,” he said.

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