Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

President Joe Biden's plan to share an additional 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses overseas brings the U.S. total exports to 80 million. But experts and some policymakers say it's not enough.

Driving the news: The world has reached a situation of "vaccine apartheid", World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday, saying "the big problem is a lack of sharing."

The big picture: The low U.S. export numbers were at first defended as a strategy to ensure Americans are vaccinated first. But now the administration is being confronted by calls for a stronger involvement of vaccine diplomacy as domestic demand diminishes.

  • 80 million doses is a "drop in the bucket," and the U.S. should pledge to manufacture and export 4-to-5-billion doses by the end of the year, Peter Hotez, professor of pediatrics and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN.
  • G7 countries and the European Union can afford to donate more than 150 million vaccines to countries in need without compromising their own goals, UNICEF said on Monday.

By the numbers: The U.S. has received more than four dozen requests for vaccine donations from countries across the world. China and Russia have exported larger shares of its vaccine production than the U.S., an analysis from Airfinity shows.

  • China has shipped 252 million doses overseas, or 42% of its total production.
  • The European Union has exported 111 million doses — more than a third of its total.
  • Still, the announcement of 60 million doses was already a major boost to the severely strained global supply, Axios' Dave Lawler notes, considering the COVAX initiative has distributed about 45 million doses globally.

Some Republicans — and Democrats — have become increasingly vocal in the U.S.’s vaccine diplomacy efforts, highlighting concerns lower-income countries are looking to U.S. competitors Russia and China for doses.

  • "The U.S. should set a goal of vaccinating more than one billion people around the world by Thanksgiving—and without dumping intellectual property," Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) writes in a Monday op-ed to WSJ.
  • Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) tweeted: "I’m glad that @POTUS has answered my calls to distribute extra U.S. COVID vaccines to our allies across the globe. As the Administration crafts its excess vaccine distribution plan, I again urge them to consider the people of Venezuela and the Bahamas."

What to watch: The administration has yet to announce how the doses will be shared or which countries will receive them.

Go deeper

May 17, 2021 - Health

Biden administration to send 20 million U.S.-authorized vaccine doses abroad

Photo: Ole Spata/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

President Biden will send an additional 20 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to other countries by the end of June, including shots authorized by the FDA for use in the U.S., White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

Why it matters: It will be the first time the U.S. has sent Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses abroad. The administration previously announced plans to export 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has not been authorized domestically.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Emergency room visits of all kinds dropped amid the pandemic — NY smart-thermometer network could predict next COVID wave.
  2. Vaccines: FDA clears 10 million J&J vaccine doses from contaminated Baltimore plant — Moderna asks FDA to expand COVID-19 vaccine authorization to adolescents.
  3. Cities: Seattle becomes first major city to get 70% fully vaccinated — Schools nationwide prepare for packed kindergartens this fall.
  4. Work: Goldman Sachs requires U.S. employees to report vaccination status.
  5. Politics: U.S. to buy 500 million Pfizer doses to share with the world — State Department eases travel advisories for dozens of countries.
  6. World: Moscow orders new restrictions amid surge in COVID-19 cases — 12 Venezuela players, staff contract COVID-19 before Copa America opener — 2021 already has a higher global coronavirus death toll than 2020.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Back to normal without herd immunity.
  8. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Target, CVS and other stores ease mask requirements after CDC guidance

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A growing list of large retailers has begun to ease mask requirements for fully vaccinated customers, after the CDC issued guidance last week saying vaccinated people can do most activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.

Driving the news: Target and CVS Pharmacy on Monday were among the latest to update policies to allow fully vaccinated guests in their stores without face coverings, unless it is required by local law.