Thebuys 500 million doses of Pfizer to donate to global supplies, the White House said Thursday. This will provide enough photos to fully vaccinate 250 million people.
The United States is donating 200 million doses this year and 300 million doses in the first half of 2022, the White House said. All doses will be distributed through COVAX, the global organization working to ensure equal access to COVID tests and vaccines, and will be given to 92 low- and middle-income countries and the African Union.
President Biden will announce the purchase Thursday in a speech ahead of a summit of the Group of Seven in Britain. The White House says the vaccines will begin shipping in August.
Global health leaders have stepped up criticism in recent weeks of countries that have chosen to use their vaccine supplies to take pictures of children and other people at low risk of serious illness within their borders, warning that this will come “at the expense of of health workers and high-risk groups in other countries. “
In an open letter to G7 leaders ahead of the summit, UNICEF warned that COVAX was already facing an immediate shortage of 1
Purchasing 500 million doses of the vaccine would be the largest U.S. contribution to ending the pandemic worldwide. The White House had already done soof other nations.
Other countries are urging the United States to give them more vaccines, as America has the largest number of vaccines of any country, as well as some of the most effective vaccines.
Some smaller countries have already started donating tranches of COVAX vaccine, although none has promised as much as the United States. In April, France became the first G7 country to share doses of its domestic supplies with COVAX.
Some health experts and lawyers welcomed the news of planned donations from the US ONE campaign, which was led by former USAID administrator Gail Smith before it was tapped by the White House to lead the global response to COVID-19, a statement calling on others G7 leaders to “follow the example of the United States and donate more doses to COVAX.”
The announcement will come as Mr Biden seeks to restore US influence in the world and among allies. The President is particularly keen to emphasize the importance of democracy while attending summits in Britain and Belgium.
The White House also says vaccines will help recruit Americans here at home. Pfizer plans to produce doses at its facilities in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Macpherson, Kansas, Chesterfield, Missouri and Andover, Massachusetts, which employ approximately 7,500 people.