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Biden during a virtual meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Feb. 23. Photo: Pete Marovich/Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. will send around 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to Canada, and 2.5 million to Mexico, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time President Biden has agreed to share doses purchased by the U.S. with other countries.

  • The U.S. has come under increasing pressure for refusing to export doses, including the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has not yet been approved in the U.S. and is not expected to play a major role in the U.S. vaccine rollout.

Details: The deal comes in the form of a loan, with the U.S. sending doses to Canada and Mexico now with the expectation that they will return doses to the U.S. later this year.

The big picture: The U.S. has produced 27% of the vaccines manufactured anywhere in the world to date, second only to China, according to data from Airfinity.

  • But while China has exported around 60% of the vaccines it has produced — in part due to a low sense of urgency in China, where the virus is largely under control — the U.S. has exported 0% as Biden focuses on ensuring that all Americans who want a vaccine can get one as quickly as possible.
  • Canada, for example, is importing Moderna doses from Europe because all production in the U.S. is staying in the country.

What's next: Countries around the world will continue to push for access to the vaccines the U.S. is producing, including some of the 1.3 billion doses purchased by the U.S. government, particularly after Thursday's announcement set a precedent for dose sharing.

  • The question is when the Biden administration will feel secure enough in its supply to start to allow doses to leave the country.

Go deeper

Updated 10 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.