WASHINGTON — The White House is making it abundantly clear it has no plans to share America’s COVID-19 vaccines with Canada or Mexico.
Press secretary Jen Psaki has been indicating for weeks that the Biden administration would not allow the export of doses manufactured in the U.S. any time soon.
Today, with Mexico planning to explicitly ask for help, Psaki ruled the possibility out entirely.
She says President Joe Biden is focused first on making sure the vaccine is available to every American.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was expected to ask Biden directly for doses when the two meet virtually later today.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly stopped short of making a similar request in his virtual meetings with Biden last week.
“No,” Psaki said today when asked whether the U.S. would be willing to share its supply of vaccine doses.
“The president has made clear that he is focused on ensuring that vaccines are available to every American. That is our focus.”
Psaki hinted last week that the White House position could change later this year once more Americans are vaccinated and the doses are no longer in such short supply.
Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine began shipping out today after it received emergency authorization over the weekend from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
That now makes three vaccines that are available in the U.S., along with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
Health Canada has yet to approve the Johnson and Johnson shot, but gave the green light last week to a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021.
The Canadian Press