US to donate additional 500 mn Covid vaccines to world

US to donate an additional 500 million Covid-19 vaccines to the world

The US had already purchased 500 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and donated them through COVAX

Vaccines had already landed in 100 countries, Biden said, adding he would announce additional commitments on Wednesday. Credit: Reuters file photo

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 and is likely to announce the new pledge then.

Earlier on Tuesday, Biden told United Nations General Assembly that the United States had put more than $15 billion toward the global response to Covid-19 in order to fund more than 160 million Covid-19 vaccines in other countries.

The US had already purchased 500 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and donated them through the global vaccine-sharing platform COVAX.

Vaccines had already landed in 100 countries, Biden said, adding he would announce additional commitments on Wednesday at a US-hosted global Covid-19 summit.

The United States is pushing global leaders to endorse its targets for ending the Covid-19 pandemic, including ensuring 70% of the world's population is vaccinated by the 2022, according to a draft US document viewed by Reuters.

US regulators could authorise a booster shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for older and some high-risk Americans this week, in time for the government to roll them out by Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to give the nod to the third shots for at least this group before advisers to the USc Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are due to meet on Wednesday.

As the gap widens between vaccinations in wealthy and poor countries, The World Health Organization has repeatedly implored the United States and other wealthy countries to hold off on plans to offer boosters and instead to use those doses to help inoculate the many people worldwide who have yet to receive their first doses.

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