Biden says talks ongoing about U.S. shipments of COVID-19 vaccine abroad

U.S. President Joe Biden removes his face mask as he arrives to deliver remarks on the administration’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response outside the White House in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States is discussing when it could begin sending COVID-19 vaccines to India and other countries, even as it sends therapeutics and other equipment to India amid a surge in cases there, President Joe Biden on Tuesday.

“I think we’ll be in a position to be able to share, share vaccines as well as know-how with other countries who are in real need. That’s the hope and expectation,” he told reporters after remarks on the coronavirus at the White House.

Biden said he had spoken at length with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including as to when the United States would be able to ship vaccines to the country of 1.3 billion people, and said it was his clear intention to do so.

Biden gave no specific date for when vaccine shipments could begin, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that the United States could start sending up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca Plc’s coronavirus vaccine as soon as the next few weeks.

In the meantime, Biden said the United States would begin shipping other supplies and rendering assistance to India, including Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir and mechanical parts needed for the machinery they have to build a vaccine.

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