United States to ‘lend’ COVID-19 vaccines to Mexico, Canada

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FRIDAY March 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) – A “loan” of 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be sent to Mexico (2.5 million doses) and Canada (1.5 million doses), announced Thursday the White House.

“Our first priority remains vaccinating the American population,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during Thursday’s daily briefing. But she added that “making sure our neighbors can contain the virus is a critical step for the mission,” the Associated Press reported. Details of the plan are still being worked out.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has not been approved for use in the United States, but the company is expected to share the results of its late-stage U.S. study and seek emergency use authorization in the coming weeks. The World Health Organization, European regulators and dozens of countries have approved the shots based on studies in the UK and elsewhere. Over the past week, several countries have suspended their use of the vaccine following reports of clots in tens of millions of people across Europe who have received the vaccine. On Thursday, the European medicines regulator said the injections did not increase the overall risk of blood clots and that the benefits far outweighed the risks. Yet the debate has raised fears that the issue of safety may undermine confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is key to vaccination efforts in several countries.

The Biden administration said that once U.S. citizens are vaccinated, the next step is to ensure that Canada and Mexico can contain the pandemic so that the borders between those countries can reopen.

Associated Press Item

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