- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
(Adds vaccines to Angola and Togo)
WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (Reuters) - The United States on Friday donated 500,000 doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine to Kosovo through the COVAX distribution scheme, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter.
The shipment comes amid a U.S. vaccine diplomacy effort that has sent vaccines to dozens of countries. Washington also sent close to 600,000 doses of the same vaccine to Angola and 200,000 to Togo, White House spokesman Kevin Munoz said on Twitter.
It also comes just days after Kosovo on Aug. 15 offered to provide temporary refuge to U.S.-affiliated Afghans at risk after the Taliban seized power.
Blinken said the "gift represents the shared values and unwavering bonds between our people."
President Joe Biden's administration has been in discussions with countries including Kosovo about protecting Afghans, amid a chaotic effort to airlift thousands of Americans and other foreign nationals, as well as Afghans who aided the 20-year American war effort from Kabul.
The State Department did not immediately respond to an request for comment, but Blinken has previously pledged that Washington will not trade vaccine doses for political favors.
The doses were delivered through the World Health Organization-backed COVAX program that aims to equitably expand access to vaccines, but U.S. officials have said they can decide where U.S.-made doses donated through the facility are sent. (Reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Cynthia Osterman)