(CNN)President Joe Biden, well on his way to reaching a new goal of vaccinating 200 million Americans by the end of April, is taking initial steps toward helping other nations ramp up shots, including by boosting global manufacturing and appointing a top global health expert who previously advocated for shipping vaccines from the United States’ surplus abroad.
Diplomats view the developments as a sign Biden is moving toward sharing some of the hundreds of millions of doses the United States will have leftover once every American is vaccinated. But the President remains wary of sending vaccines overseas before people in the United States have access, and administration health experts continue to caution that extra doses may be needed as the virus mutates and the pandemic persists.
Biden’s political advisers and national security team have debated the appropriate balance among domestic needs, humanitarian efforts, and political strategy, people familiar with the matter say. Meanwhile, State Department officials field near-daily requests from other countries for vaccines, according to diplomats, whose answer has largely been the same: no shipments until the US is taken care of.