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Sat Apr 24, 2021, 08:45 PM

United States set to embark on campaign of 'vaccine diplomacy'

In Latin America, China and Russia have deployed an intense form of Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy dubbed “mercantilism” by the White House - while the U.S. adopted an “America First” public health approach, preferring to immunise its own population as rapidly as possible.

In response, the U.S. will be launching a global campaign to export and share its stock of vaccines “as soon as possible.”

According to sources consulted by the Argentine daily Perfil, Biden will announce his initiative in June - when U.S. authorities expect to have completed vaccination of the adult population.

Biden wants the United States to play a central role in the global struggle against coronavirus.

Prestige and influence are at stake in the face of the global rise of China and its penetration into the trade and public health of the Western Hemisphere.

While visiting Buenos Aires last week, Juan González, U.S. National Security Council Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, revealed some details of the plan the Biden administration is working on for the distribution of vaccines.

“Latin America has a pretty high priority, given the impact of cases and the number of variants which have expanded there - but also because they’re our neighbours,” he assured.

“There is much concern about the advances being achieved by Russia and China in different parts of the region.”

At: https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/world/united-states-set-to-embark-on-campaign-of-vaccine-diplomacy.phtml

Russia's Ambassador to Argentina, Dmitry Feoktistov (middle), joins Argentine officials in welcoming the first shipment of Gamaleya's Sputnik V vaccine in December.

The unavailability of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca forced Argentina to turn to Russia's Gamaleya - which has since supplied around 60% of the 7 million doses given there thus far.

Neighboring Chile, in turn, has relied on China's Sinovac for 93% of its Covid vaccines.

The Biden administration is reportedly working on plans to counter Russian and Chinese vaccine diplomacy by making a growing U.S. surplus of vaccines available to developing countries - particularly Latin America.

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