The United States plans to donate an additional 500 million COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE to nations around the world, lifting the total the country is sharing to more than 1 billion doses, according to a source familiar with the plans. President Joe Biden is hosting a virtual summit on COVID-19 on Wednesday. A senior official said the donations were being made “free of charge, with no binding”.”These half a billion vaccines will be made here in the United States by American workers. They will start shipping in January. And that means from January to September next year, we will be sending 800 million vaccines to the world,” the official added.The official further said that the US has so far committed to donate over 600 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world.
“This includes the 500 million Pfizer doses that the US purchased earlier this summer to donate to 100 countries – the largest ever donation of COVID-19 vaccines by a single country.” An administration official said the dose would bring the total number of shots to 1.1 billion, of which about 160 million have already been shipped and 200 million are expected to go out by the end of the year. The remaining 800 million will be sent by next September.
Biden will relay the news at a virtual summit to be held on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, where he will challenge world leaders to vaccinate 70 percent of every country by September 2022. The donations are being made “free of charge, no strings attached,” a senior administration official said ahead of the meeting.
“For every one shot we have administered in this country to date, we are now donating three shots to other countries,” she added. The summit, which coincides with meetings of the UN General Assembly this week, will be divided into four sessions, according to administration officials who previewed the program with reporters on Tuesday. Biden will chair the first session on the world’s need to vaccinate, where he will call on global leaders to fully vaccinate 70 percent of the world’s population by next September, the Washington Post previously reported. Apart from this the U.S. and with most adults in Europe now fully vaccinated, millions of people around the world do not have available COVID vaccines, greatly reducing the risk of serious COVID infection, hospitalization and death.