The United States is planning to send millions of COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccines to Mexico and Canada.
AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has not yet been approved for use in the United States, so the Biden administration has opted to loan them to Mexico and Canada, preventing them from going to waste.
Although some details still need to be ironed out, official sources have said that President Joe Biden could officially announce the deal as early as next Friday. The agreement has been dubbed in the media as “vaccine diplomacy” while the Biden administration quietly presses Mexico to curb the stream of migrants crossing the border, seeking asylum.
“I can confirm that we have 7 million releasable doses available of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 2.5 million of those, we are working to finalize plans to lend those to Mexico and 1.5 million to Canada,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in both Mexico and Canada. The pharmaceutical company itself asked the United States government to consider donating its existing inventory to other nations.
Mexico Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrad confirmed the agreement and said that Mexico would be happy to receive the vaccines as soon as possible.
This news comes a week after Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador accused the United States and other wealthy nations of monopolizing the vaccine supply.
Some countries such as Australia and Norway have halted the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 inoculations based on reports that a proportionally small number of vaccine recipients have developed blood clot problems.
However, the World Health Organizations considers that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks.