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Biden administration buys 500 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses for international use

The Biden administration is buying 500 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to donate to the worldwide provide, the White Home mentioned Thursday. That can present sufficient photographs to totally vaccinate 250 million folks.

The U.S. is donating 200 million doses this yr and 300 million doses within the first half of 2022, the White Home mentioned. The entire doses can be distributed via COVAX — the worldwide entity that’s working to make sure equitable entry to COVID testing and vaccines — and can be given to 92 low- and middle-income international locations and the African Union.

President Biden will announce the acquisition Thursday in his remarks earlier than the Group of Seven summit in Britain. The White Home says the vaccines will start delivery in August. 

World well being leaders have been stepping up their criticism in latest weeks of nations which have elected to make use of their vaccine provide to provide photographs to kids and different residents at low danger of extreme illness inside their borders, warning that doing so would come “on the expense of well being employees and high-risk teams in different international locations.”

In an open letter to G7 leaders forward of the summit, UNICEF warned that COVAX was already going through an instantaneous shortfall of 190 million doses and urged international locations to make “pressing donations by August and to set out a roadmap to scale up donations as provides improve.” COVAX had initially aimed to ship 2 billion doses of vaccine by 2021.

Buying 500 million doses of the vaccine can be the best contribution but by the U.S. to ending the pandemic worldwide. The White Home had already dedicated to sending 80 million doses to different nations.

Different international locations have been urging the U.S. to provide them extra vaccine, since America has the most important vaccine provide of any nation, in addition to a few of the best vaccines.

Some smaller international locations have already begun donating tranches of vaccine to COVAX, although none have pledged as a lot because the U.S. In April, France turned the first of the G7 nations to share doses from its home provide with COVAX.

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Some well being specialists and advocates welcomed the information of the deliberate donations by the U.S. The ONE Marketing campaign, which was led by former USAID Administrator Gayle Smith earlier than she was tapped by the White Home to guide its international COVID-19 response, issued an announcement urging different G7 leaders to “comply with the U.S.’ instance and donate extra doses to COVAX.”

The announcement will come as Mr. Biden makes an attempt to reassert U.S. affect on the earth and amongst allies. The president is especially eager to emphasise the significance of democracy as he attends summits within the U.Okay. and Belgium. 

The White Home additionally argues the vaccines will assist make use of People right here at residence. Pfizer plans to provide the doses at their services in Kalamazoo, Michigan, McPherson, Kansas, Chesterfield, Missouri, and Andover, Massachusetts, which make use of roughly 7,500 folks. 

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