The U.S. will ship its entire supply of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine overseas to give pandemic-ravaged countries like India a much-needed boost in beating back the virus, the White House said Monday.
The roughly 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine stockpiled in the U.S. will start getting exported once the Food and Drug Administration concludes a safety review of the shot, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
The U.S. can afford to send off the AstraZeneca doses because it already has enough supply in the pipeline to inoculate the American population using the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, according to Psaki.
“We do not need to use AstraZeneca in our fight against COVID,” she said.
Psaki declined to immediately say which countries will be picked for AstraZeneca allotments. She also noted that it could take a few more months before shipments go out, as the FDA concludes its review.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is already in wide use around the world, though the pharma company faced some production issues amid concerns that its product caused a rare blood clot disorder in some recipients.
Psaki’s announcement came after Biden spoke over the phone with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose country is currently going through a devastating COVID-19 outbreak.
On the call, Biden vowed to provide India with “a range of emergency assistance, including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials, and therapeutics,” according to a White House readout.