The United States has bought 500 million doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to send the globe as it seeks to be a key player in getting other countries inoculated. President Joe Biden will declare the news at the G7 summit in Cornwall, UK.
The move came as the US was pressured to do more regarding the global vaccine shortage. Rich nations were able to purchase the lion's share of early supplies.
The US itself has fully inoculated over half its entire population. The infection rate has diminished.
Donation To Lower-Income Countries
The United States will share the vaccines through the global COVAX alliance, which will be sending them off to 92 lower-income nations as well as the African Union the following year. Two hundred million doses, which is enough to fully protect 100 million people, would be shared this 2021. The balance will be donated in the initial half of 2022, reported CNBC.
The president's top COVID-19 adviser, Jeff Zients, has been working on the negotiation for the following month. According to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, in addition to the Pfizer purchase, Biden is slated to take part in a merged announcement with the G7 on a comprehensive plan to end the COVID-19 pandemic, reported CNN.
The US is poised to step up in the midst of intensifying calls for wealthy nations to share their novel coronavirus vaccine surplus with the rest of the globe. The Biden administration had earlier stated it would donate 80 million vaccine doses by the end of this June. However, this new commitment represents a six-fold increase.
Zients and his team reportedly negotiated the deal to buy the doses from Pfizer over the course of four weeks. All of such doses will be donated through COVAX.
This is reportedly a large step toward making the United States a major global vaccine supplier. It comes as the President departs for his first foreign trip. The doses were bought at a not-for-profit price instead of the $19.50 per dose the US paid in its initial Pfizer contract.
The White House has not yet officially commented on the plan to disseminate 500 million doses globally. However, when asked if the United States government had an inoculation strategy for the world, Biden responded he has one and will be declaring it prior to boarding Air Force One.
'The United States Is Back'
The President has set the stakes for his eight-day trip in sweeping terms. He believes the West should publicly demonstrate it could compete economically with China as the world emerges from the coronavirus outbreak.
Biden opened the initial overseas trip of his term on Wednesday with an announcement that the US is back as he seeks to reassert the country on the world stage.
"We're going to make it clear that the United States is back and democracies of the world are standing together to tackle the toughest challenges and the issues that matter most to our future," Biden said after he landed in Britain on Wednesday, reported NBC News.