WASHINGTON — The Biden administration said Wednesday that the U.S. has distributed 400 million doses of Covid vaccines globally, more than any country in the world.
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients announced the milestone during a briefing, saying the doses have been shipped to over 100 countries “with no strings attached.”
“To put America’s leadership in perspective, we have shipped 4 times more free doses to the world than any other country,” he said.
The U.S. is shipping more than 3 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine beginning Thursday to Bangladesh and more than 4.6 million doses to Pakistan,” according to a White House official.
The doses stem from a $500 million purchase that the Biden administration made from Pfizer in the summer of 2021, bringing the total vaccine doses donated to 400 million.
The official said the U.S. has shipped more than 47 million doses to Pakistan, more than any other country in its donation program. Both Pakistan and Bangladesh are among the top 10 most populous countries in the world.
“We are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions. Our vaccines do not come with strings attached. We are doing this with the singular objective of saving lives,” the official said.
The U.S. government has also bought 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses to give to the African Union and 92 low and lower middle-income countries, the official said.
“The US announcement represents the largest-ever purchase and donation of vaccines by a single country and a commitment by the American people to help protect people around the world from COVID-19,” the official added.
Health experts have said that the key to ending the pandemic is to eliminate it globally with a vaccination strategy. Each variant of Covid since 2020 has been identified outside the U.S., including the delta variant in India and the omicron variant in South Africa.
Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.
Peter Alexander is chief White House correspondent for NBC News.