A report on Wednesday said that the United States of America will purchase 500 million more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and donate them to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union through the global COVAX alliance.
US President Joe Biden will reportedly make the announcement on Thursday in a speech ahead of the Group of Seven (G7) summit, which is scheduled to take place in Britain from June 11-13.
News agency Reuters mentioned three sources familiar with the matter as saying that the US is likely to distribute 200 million shots in 2021 and the rest in the first half of 2022.
The donations will be made through the COVAX vaccine program that distributes COVID-19 vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. This may be noted that the COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside key delivery partner UNICEF.
Reuters further mentioned one of the sources as saying that the deal was worked out after a four-week negotiation by White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients and the coronavirus task force team.
CNBC, meanwhile, reported that the United States is in talks with Moderna Inc about purchasing some of its shots to donate to other countries.
While talking to reporters on Wednesday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan underlined Biden’s commitment to sharing vaccines as it was in the public health and strategic interests of the US.
Biden, who arrived in Europe on Wednesday on his first foreign trip as US President, seeks to show “that democracies are the countries that can best deliver solutions for people everywhere.”
“The president is focused on helping to lead the world because he believes it’s the right thing to, it’s what Americans do in times of need,” said Sullivan, adding: “We were the arsenal of democracy in World War II. We’re going to be the arsenal of vaccines.”
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