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US Distributes 200Mln Vaccines to Over 100 Countries, Most Shots Go to Africa

© REUTERS / Dado RuvicA vial labelled with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021
A vial labelled with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.10.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States has distributed 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to over 100 countries around the world, with most of the shots having gone to Africa, State Department officials told reporters on Thursday.
“We are very pleased to be hitting the milestone of having shared and delivered 200 million doses of vaccine to more than a 100 countries around the world as of today,” State Department Coordinator for Global COVID-19 Response, Gayle Smith, said during a telephone press briefing.
The US makes deliveries to other countries on a regular basis, she added.
Smith has emphasized the great progress in vaccine distribution efforts, but acknowledged that there is still a lot of work to do. “We are also encouraging other countries to share [surplus] as quickly as possible,” she added.
The US provides the most vaccines to African countries, USAID COVID-19 Task Force executive director, Jeremy Konyndyk, noted. Speaking of Sub-Saharan Africa, Gayle Smith estimates that the region needs to receive about 1.6 billion vaccine doses in order to approach the goal of vaccinating 70% of the population.
Smith added that the US has shipped over 1 million doses to Tanzania. Asked about Ethiopia, she expressed the hope that those who live in conflict zones have unrestricted access to vaccines.
“We have shared a substantial number of vaccines with Ethiopia. They also have other sources. Certainly [it is] our hope that those vaccines will be made available equitably to everyone who needs them,” Smith said.
The US is trying to ensure that vaccines are distributed based on epidemiological data, not on politics, she added.
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