Mr. Biden has a week and a half to meet his deadline, a task made more hard as the administration tries to change which manufacturers' vaccines would be included in the 55 million portion. As recently as two weeks ago, the administration said it expected AstraZeneca to account for the remaining 55 million donated doses this month.
The country's inoculation program is suffering from a lack of supply, with several vaccination centers nationwide temporarily suspending operations over the weekend because they had no doses to administer, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The vaccines being shared with Covax include 14 million for Latin America and the Caribbean, approximately 16 million to Asia, and 10 million for Africa in coordination with the African Union.
This will complete US's initial pledge of 80 million doses from its own supply (File).
"We have plenty of doses to share with the world, but this is a Herculean logistical challenge", she told reporters, noting safety and regulatory information had to be shared, proper storage temperatures for the vaccines had to be ensured, and language barriers at times had to be overcome.
The Biden administration didn't say when the doses will start shipping.
The other 25%, or roughly 14 million doses, would be shared with "regional priorities", including Colombia, Argentina, Iraq, Ukraine, the West Bank and Gaza.
The announcement, however, dials back the initial United States commitment.
The White House said it wanted the doses to be prioritized for healthcare workers and those who are most at risk. But with many countries unable to vaccinate even a tiny percentage of their populations, global health officials are pressing the United States to move as quickly as possible to share its vaccine supply.
Pakistan has signed a deal with Pfizer to buy 13 million doses of the vaccine it makes with German partner BioNTech, as the South Asian country rushes to resolve a vaccine shortage.
The White House did not specify on Monday which vaccines it would be sharing, but people familiar with the operation have said the administration is working to swap shots made by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for AstraZeneca's.