12 March 2021 Vol 371, Issue 6534
As vaccine surpluses loom, donation plans urged
By Jon Cohen, Kai Kupferschmidt
Science12 Mar 2021 : 1087-1088 Restricted Access
Rich countries have ordered billions of doses more than needed for their populations.
Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden promised COVID-19 vaccine doses would be available for all U.S. adults by the end of May. That’s welcome news for the United States, and it could also be good news for nations that may benefit from the more than 1 billion extra doses the federal government has ordered. Like three dozen other countries, the United States contracted with multiple vaccine companies for several times the number of doses needed to cover its population. But by now, most of the prepurchased vaccines appear to offer solid protection—which means many countries will receive far more vaccine than they need. Over the next year or two, U.S. surplus doses and those from other countries could add up to enough to immunize everyone in the many poorer nations that lack any secured COVID-19 vaccine.