US Ships Pfizer Vaccine to Kosovo amid Delta Variant Surge

Thursday, the United States plans to ship 35,100 doses of Pfizer vaccine to Kosovo through COVAX, the United Nations vaccine-sharing mechanism, a White House official told VOA.The doses are part of the purchase of half a billion Pfizer doses secured by the Biden administration earlier this year.Kosovo is experiencing another spike in infection, largely due to the delta variant. There have been 120,862 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,295 deaths according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Fewer than 550,000 vaccine doses have been administered in the country.In addition to the $2 billion donated to COVAX, the Biden administration has pledged to purchase 500 million Pfizer vaccines and distribute them through the year to 92 low-income and lower middle-income countries that are members of COVAX and the African Union. It represents the largest purchase and donation of vaccines by a single country.Even with its large vaccine donation program, the U.S. is being criticized for announcing its plan to provide booster shots to all Americans beginning September 20 and starting eight months after an individual’s second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines.“The inequitable rollout of vaccines globally is not just a moral stain on wealthy nations, it’s prolonging the pandemic for the entire world. The longer it takes to share vaccines globally, the more variants we’ll see and the more booster shots we’ll need,” the ONE Campaign, which works against poverty and preventable disease, said in a statement to VOA.So far, only 1.3% of people in poorer countries have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.President Joe Biden dismissed criticism that U.S. is turning a blind eye to the fact that many around the world still have not received even a single dose.“I know there’s some world leaders who say America shouldn’t get a third shot until other countries get their first shot. I disagree,” Biden said during remarks at the White House Wednesday.“We can take care of America and help the world at the same time. In June and July America administered 50 million shots here in the United States. And we donated 100 million shots to other countries. That means that America has donated more vaccines to other countries than every other country in the world combined,” he said. 

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