The United States government has entered an agreement with COVID-19 vaccine makers to donate 500 million doses to 100 countries in 2022.
According to Al-Jazeera, U.S. President Joe Biden will announce the plan on a three-day G7 summit taking place in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The meeting will begin today, June 10.
While the administration has not made a formal announcement on the move, CNN reported that an insider was familiar with the plan, which Joe Biden is said to have told reporters as he boarded the Air Force One to the U.K.
Donations split into two
According to the reports, the U.S will give close to 200 million doses in 2021. They will distribute the other 300 million through the first half of 2022. Most of the vaccine donations will be through COVAX (75 % of them).
The other 25 % would be given directly to the countries in need. The majority of the nations would be low-to-middle-income countries (92 of them).
Jake Sullivan, the White House security adviser, said that Biden had planned to make the U.S. play a leading role in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution worldwide.
“He wants to rally the rest of the world’s democracies that can best deliver solutions for people everywhere,” he told reporters. Additionally, the U.S. would cover all the costs for the scheme at a ‘not-for-profit’ price.
Vaccine nationalism concerns
The reports come when WHO has continued to make calls for wealthy nations to donate some of their vaccines to poorer countries. WHO Secretary-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, had cautioned against vaccine nationalism and called for vaccine equity.
He has continually piled pressure on wealthy nations to donate the COVID-19 vaccine to lesser-fortunate countries. So far, most of the over 1 billion COVID vaccines given have been in wealth nations. Indeed, poorer countries barely crack 1 % of the given vaccines.
Biden had only last month pledged to share 20 million assorted COVID-19 vaccines by the end of June. The vaccines would include Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca.
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— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) June 10, 2021