US donates Covid vaccines to Georgia and Tajikistan

Washington (AFP) –


The United States is donating doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Georgia and Tajikistan, a White House official said Thursday.

Tajikistan on Sunday will receive 1.5 million doses of the Moderna shot via the international vaccine distribution system known as Covax, while Georgia will get 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine Saturday in a bilateral donation, the official told AFP.

The United States wants to be the world's "arsenal" in the fight against Covid, this official said.

President Joe Biden has pledged to share 80 million doses of vaccine with the rest of the world.

Washington has pledged $2 billion to Covax, and also plans to buy 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine for countries of the African Union and 92 other low income nations.

Besides the health aspect, vaccine donations from wealthy countries have a geopolitical angle.

China and Russia are suspected of using vaccine donations to win favor with poorer countries.

The United States, which has donated many doses to countries in Asia and this time is providing shots to two former Soviet republics, denies it is engaging in vaccine diplomacy.

"We are doing this with the singular objective of saving lives," the White House official said.