The Biden administration has reached an agreement with the United States vaccine makers to provide 500 million (50 crore) doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 92 countries over the next year.
As he prepared for a round of summit meetings with European leaders, President Joe Biden was under pressure to do more to make US vaccines available to poorer nations.
Biden is set to announce the plan at a three-day summit meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) nations to be held in Cornwall, United Kingdom, set to begin on June 10.
Biden was asked by a reporter as he boarded Air Force One for the flight to the UK if he had a vaccination strategy for the world. “I have one, and I’ll be announcing it,” Biden said.
The US will pay “not-for-profit” prices to Pfizer and BioNTech for supplies of the vaccines with 200 million doses to be distributed this year and 300 million more by the middle of next year.
The COVID-19 vaccine doses would be procured by the US government and then donated to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union over the next year, The Associated Press and Reuters news agencies reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
How to solve the disparity in vaccine availability between wealthy industrialised nations and poorer developing countries has been at the front of the G7’s agenda.
Even as large numbers of the US and UK populations have received vaccines and cases of COVID-19 have declined, the pandemic continues to rage elsewhere with Brazil and India suffering large numbers of deaths.
The World Health Organization has estimated 11 billion doses will be needed to vaccinate the world.
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