Looking to inspire other countries, businesses and organizations to come together to defeat the virus, Biden announced the massive donation of Pfizer’s vaccine at a virtual summit Wednesday morning. It comes just a day after his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.
‘For every 1 shot we’ve administered to date in America, we have now committed 3 shots to the rest of the world,’ Biden said during the summit. ‘We need other high income countries to deliver on their own ambitious vaccine donations and pledges.’
The US will provide $370million to support administering Covid vaccinations and delivering them globally, Biden announced.
Over $380million will be used to assist in the Global Vaccine Alliance to further vaccine distributions to regions with the greatest need.
Biden’s goal is to have 70% of the world vaccinated in a year.
The President also shared the news of a new EU-US Covid vaccine partnership, created with the goal of closer collaboration, and encouraging global leaders to ‘donate, not sell,’ vaccines to countries in need, and to provide donations with ‘no political strings attached.’
More than 100 foreign leaders and hundreds of private sector figures, philanthropists and representatives of non-governmental organizations will be in attendance. The summit will include a mix of speeches and recorded statements, as well as sessions led by both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Joe Biden, with Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield convenes a virtual Covid-19 Summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (Picture: Getty Images)
The Pfizer vaccines will be made in four plants across the US and shipped to 92 low and lower-middle-income countries as well as the 55 member states of the African Union, Pfizer said Wednesday.
These doses are part of a pledge Pfizer previously made to provide 2billion doses to such countries over the next 18 months.
Vaccines will be shipped out using Covax, the global vaccine sharing system, beginning in January and going through next September.
The doses will be provided to the US government at a not-for-profit cost, according to press release from Pfizer. This year, 200million doses will be sent out, and 300million are to follow in 2022.
This pledge is in addition to a 500million dose donation announced in June at the Group of Seven summit in the UK, which began being distributed last month, which brings the total amount the US will donate well over 1billion.
Biden’s announcement comes at a time when the US and other wealthy countries are facing mass scrutiny from groups like the World Health Organization (WHO) for pulling resources toward creating booster shots for fully vaccinated people, when many people globally have yet to receive a single Covid shot.
In response to the criticism the White House has argued it can multitask, saying it can prepare to offer booster shots while also helping other parts of the world obtain vaccines, a US official told reporters ahead of the summit.
Biden promised the US would continue to make ‘historic commitments’ .
‘Let me close with what I made clear yesterday at the UN,’ Biden said. ‘We can do this. This is within our capacity we know what needs to be done. We just have to make the choice to do it.’