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Millions But Not Enough

The US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, NPR reports. It notes, though, that this is just a fraction of the 11 billion doses estimated to be needed to vaccinate the world.

Sharing vaccines has proven to be trickier than it sounds, NPR adds. The Biden Administration announced in May that the US aimed to share about 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses by the end of June. However, as the Washington Post then reported, the US did not meet that goal, citing regulatory, legal, and other requirements. According to the White House, the US has now donated and shipped 110 million doses, largely through the international vaccine sharing program COVAX, to 60 countries.

NPR notes that this shipment puts the US ahead of other countries in number of donations, but Krishna Udayakumar from the Duke Global Health Innovation Center tells it the process has been too slow. "When the world needs 10 billion doses to get to where we need to go, it puts that in context," he adds at NPR. "We're a hundred times off where we need to be."

NPR adds that a group of global health experts wrote in a letter this week that the Biden administration and other G7 countries have "taken important but modest steps to close the global vaccine gap," but that they "fall far short of the true scale and urgency required."