US buying 500m vaccines to share with COVAX
The United States will buy 500 million more doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to share through the global COVAX alliance for donation to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union over the next year, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden was set to make the announcement on Thursday in a speech before the start of the Group of Seven summit.
Two hundred million doses – enough to fully protect 100 million people – would be shared this year, with the balance to be donated in the first half of 2022, the source said.
“We have to end COVID-19 not just at home – which we’re doing – but everywhere,” Biden said on Wednesday in a speech to the US military at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, the first stop of an eight-day, three-country foreign trip.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Wednesday that Biden was committed to sharing vaccines because it was in the public health and strategic interests of the US.
As Biden embarks on his first foreign trip, he is aiming to show “that democracies are the countries that can best deliver solutions for people everywhere”, Sullivan said.