US sends half million Covid vaccines to Jordan

Washington (AFP) –


Half a million Covid-19 vaccines began shipping Thursday from the United States to Jordan in the latest stage of a global US effort to overcome the pandemic, officials said.

A senior White House official told AFP: "500,000 doses of Pfizer will begin to be shipped to Jordan from the United States. These doses arrive in Jordan on Saturday."

According to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the doses are being sent in a direct arrangement with Jordan, rather than through the international Covax program.

"We are proud to be able to deliver these safe and effective vaccines to the people of Jordan," the official told AFP.

Referring to so-called vaccine diplomacy contests between the United States, Russia and China, the official added: "We are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions... We are doing this with the singular objective of saving lives."

In addition to 80 million doses already set aside for allocation worldwide, the Biden administration has committed to donating $2 billion to Covax.

It is also purchasing 500 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for the African Union and 92 poorer countries.

"This is a unique moment in history, and it requires American leadership," the official said.

Jordan, with a population of about 10 million, has succeeded in sharply tamping down the pandemic.

According to the World Health Organization, there have so far been 9,855 deaths in Jordan from the coronavirus, with the peak in fatalities occurring this March.

Beyond Jordan, US vaccine donations have shipped out as far afield as Vietnam, Honduras and Bangladesh.