US buys extra 500 million Pfizer Covid-19 jabs

Photo: EPA

The United States announced they would buy 500 million extra doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, AP reported. The new volume is intented to be shared globally. The jabs will be donated. The operation will be executed through the global COVAX alliance for donation to 92 lower income countries and the African Union. The process will continue over the next year.

President Joe Biden is expected to make the formal announcement in a speech before the start of the Group of Seven summit. 200 million jabs would be shared this year, with the balance to be donated in the first half of 2022.

“We have to end Covid-19 not just at home - which we’re doing - but everywhere,” Biden said 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 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.

Last week, the White House unveiled its plans to donate an initial allotment of 25 million doses of surplus vaccine overseas, mostly through the United Nations-backed COVAX programme, promising infusions for South and Central America, Asia, Africa and others at a time of glaring shortages abroad. Overall, the White House has announced plans to share 80 million doses globally by the end of June, most through COVAX. Officials say a quarter of the nation’s excess will be kept in reserve for emergencies and for the US to share directly with allies and partners.

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