Nearly 30% of first 25 million doses are earmarked for Asian recipients.
The U.S has detailed plans to donate at least 80 million coronavirus vaccine doses globally by the end of June, including 7 million for India and other parts of Asia.
“The sharing of millions of U.S. vaccines with other countries signals a major commitment by the U.S. government,” the White House said in a fact sheet that called the plans “a vital component of our overall global strategy to lead the world in the fight to defeat COVID-19.”
Among the first tranche of 25 million doses, about 7 million are allocated to Asia via the World Health Organization-led COVAX vaccine access program, the White House said. India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Maldives, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and the Pacific Islands are listed as recipients.
Three-quarters of all donated doses will be distributed through COVAX, which will prioritise South Asia, Southeast Asia and certain other regions. Up to 25 per cent will go directly to countries in need and their neighbours.
Recipients of the direct donations will include South Korea, where Washington pledged to provide vaccinations for 500,000-plus service members as part of a May agreement between U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.