The U.S. will share any coronavirus vaccine it develops with the globe after American needs are met, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Monday during a visit to Taiwan.
“Our first priority of course is to develop and produce enough quantity of safe and effective FDA-approved vaccines and therapeutics for use in the United States,” Azar said, according to Reuters.
CHINA RANKLED BY HHS SECRETARY AZAR'S TAIWAN VISIT
“But we anticipate having capacity that, once those needs are satisfied, those products would be available in the world community according to fair and equitable distributions that we would consult in the international community on,” he said, according to Reuters.
Azar, left, is greeted by Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, right, during a meeting in Taipei, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. (Pool Photo via AP Photo)
U.S. companies including Moderna and Novavax are neck-and-neck with international companies leading the race for the coronavirus vaccine.
“After our departure from the WHO, we will work with others in the world community to find the appropriate vehicles for continuing to support, on a multilateral and bilateral basis, global public health on the order that the United States has done in the past,” Azar said.
Americans will not have to travel far to receive a coronavirus vaccine, and the Trump administration's goal is access for every American through doctor's offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals and health centers, a senior administration official previously told FOX Business.
Azar, left, and Taiwanese Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung answer questions from media at the Central Epidemic Command Center in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Hopes are high for a possible coronavirus vaccine after the U.S. government reached a $1.95 billion deal with Pfizer and BioNTech for 100 million doses of the companies' experimental COVID-19 vaccine once it obtains FDA approval.
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Azar's visit to Taiwan makes him the first Cabinet member to visit in six years and the highest-ranking American official to visit since 1979. The trip was expected to rankle Chinese leaders.
The secretary is meeting with Taiwan's president and health minister “to continue this health collaboration to benefit the people of Taiwan, the people of America, and the people of the world,” he told “America's Newsroom” on Wednesday.