MANILA - The United States on Wednesday reiterated it will distribute vaccines globally according to need, not in exchange for political favors.
Speaking to reporters in a telephonic press briefing from Bangkok, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman echoed US President Joe Biden’s commitment to sharing 80 million doses globally.
The US is the largest contributor to the COVAX Facility, which aims and promotes equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.
“President Biden has already committed to sharing 80 million doses, 5 times more than any other country. As the President has noted, the United States will not share these doses in exchange for political favors but as a continuation of the United States’ decades-long commitment to global public health,” Sherman said.
Sherman is in Bangkok as part of her first trip as Deputy Secretary, which also includes stops in Brussels, Ankara, Istanbul, Jakarta, Phnom Penh, and Honolulu.
She reaffirmed the US commitment to international rules-based order as well as to ASEAN centrality and urged the Myanmar military to cease violence, release political prisoners, and restore its country to the path of democracy.
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez earlier said the superpower will donate millions of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines, which will be a "priority" recipient among other countries.
“[US] Ambassador [Jose] Romualdez called me and said that the US has decided to share 80 million doses and they have given an assurance that the Philippines is one of the top priorities in the distribution,” Galvez said in a taped public briefing.
The White House earlier also said the US would release up to 60 million doses of the British-made AstraZeneca vaccine to other countries as they become available.
AstraZeneca has not yet been authorized for US use by its Food and Drug Administration.