UPDATED 8:51 AM PT – Tuesday, May 18, 2021
The Biden administration is sending an additional 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses overseas. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced the decision during Monday’s briefing.
The doses come from existing production of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine supplies. Psaki said this new round of shipments is in addition to the administration’s prior commitment to send 60 million doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine by June.
While the administration has selected COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients to lead global distribution efforts, it has yet to give key details. Officials have not said which countries will receive the shots.
“I know everybody’s eager to know where are they going,” Psaki stated. “I expect we’ll have more in the coming days on what our criteria will be and our approach, and some of where it will be sent to once it’s approved through the FDA.”
The White House press secretary also defended the CDC’s new face mask guidance for vaccinated Americans. This comes as questions arise about whether an honor system will be followed or whether proof of vaccination will be required by state and local governments or businesses.
Here are the reasons why the masks can come off now:
1. Vaccines are effective in the real world
2. Vaccines work against the variants
3. Vaccinated people are unlikely to spread COVID
— Ben Wakana (@benwakana46) May 13, 2021