New reports are stating that the United States will be buying 500 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine that will then be shared globally through the COVAX alliance for donation to 92 lower income countries and the African Union over the course of the next 12 months.
President Joe Biden was supposed to make the announcement about this purchase in a speech on Thursday before the kick off of the Group of Seven summit. Around two hundred million doses, which is enough to fully protect close to 100 million individuals, would be shared this year, with the rest of them to be donated during the first part of 2022.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Wednesday that Biden was committed to sharing vaccines because it was in the public health and strategic interests of the U.S. 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.”
“As he said in his joint session (address), we were the ‘arsenal of democracy’ in World War II,” Sullivan said. “We’re going to be the ‘arsenal of vaccines’ over this next period to help end the pandemic.”
The news of the Pfizer sharing plan was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the president’s formal announcement. The news was first reported by the Washington Post.
The announcement concerning the purchase of these doses from Pfizer comes barely a week after the White House revealed plans to donate an initial batch of 25 million doses of extra vaccine overseas, mostly through the United Nations supported COVAX program, before going on to promises infusions for both South and Central America, along with Asia, Africa, and others who are suffering from shortages of the vaccine.
Biden’s administration also unveiled plans to share 80 million doses around the world by the end of the month of June, again, mostly through COVAX.