The United States is sending nearly 900,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to Mongolia. They are scheduled to arrive Wednesday, a White House official told VOA.
“Scientific teams and legal and regulatory authorities from both countries have worked together to ensure the prompt delivery of safe and effective vaccine lots to Mongolia,” the official said.
The 899,730 doses, sent through COVAX, the global vaccine-sharing initiative co-led by Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance), the WHO (World Health Organization) and CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), are in addition to 188,370 doses of the Pfizer vaccine shipped to Mongolia in September. The U.S. has also provided more than $4 million to support the country’s pandemic response.
A low-income country bordered by vaccine-producing neighbors, China and Russia, Mongolia has been able to secure millions of vaccine doses largely through deals with Moscow and Beijing. It has administered at least 4,383,409 doses of COVID vaccines so far, according to its Ministry of Health. That’s enough for about 68% of the country’s population, assuming each person receives two doses.
The number of infections is decreasing, with 2,230 new cases reported on average each day. That is 60% of the peak reported on September 6.
There have been 312,376 infections and 1,347 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began. COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus.
Humanitarian organizations say wealthy nations still need to do more to address global vaccine inequality.
“When it comes to vaccine access around the world, you have 80% of the doses that have been administered have gone to rich countries, while only 0.5% have gone to low-income countries,” said Robbie Silverman, Oxfam America’s senior advocacy manager.
The U.S. has been criticized for announcing plans to provide booster shots for certain demographic groups while many at-risk populations around the world have yet to receive a single shot.
The Biden administration says they can help vaccinate the world at the same time as they protect Americans.
“As the president has said, America will be the arsenal of vaccines in our fight against COVID-19,” the White House official told VOA Tuesday.
At the virtual COVID-19 summit on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in September, U.S. President Joe Biden announced an additional donation of 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to low-income and lower-middle-income countries, bringing total U.S. pledged donations to 1.1 billion shots.
The U.S. is the global leader in both pledged and shipped doses, according to data compiled by the Duke Global Health Innovation Center.
As of October 1, however, the U.S. had shipped only 15% of the 1.1 billion doses it has promised. It is lagging behind other areas with less ambitious donation goals, including China (46%), Japan (30%) and the European Union (25%).
Some information from this report comes from Reuters.