‘Go big’: US doubles COVID vaccine purchases for global sharing

‘Go big’: US doubles COVID vaccine purchases for global sharing

Poorer countries in Asia and Africa have struggled to secure vaccines for their populations [File: Aaron Favila/AP Photo]

President Joe Biden has announced that the United States will double its purchases of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines for low and middle-income countries, bringing its pledged donations to a total of 1.1 billion doses.

Speaking at a virtual international summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday, Biden described the ramping up of US vaccine donations as a “historic commitment”.

“The United States is buying another half a billion doses of Pfizer to donate to low- and middle-income countries around the world,” he said.

The new doses will all be shipped by this time next year, he added.

Biden stressed the need for global cooperation to defeat COVID-19 and improve preparedness for future pandemics. He called on wealthier nations to donate, not sell, vaccine doses to lower-income countries, saying that the US is making the donations “with no political strings attached”.

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