U.S. to Purchase 500 Million Pfizer Vaccine Doses to Distribute Globally

The U.S. has announced it will buy 500 million more doses of the Pfizer vaccine to distribute to other countries through the COVAX alliance. A total of 92 lower-income countries and the African Union will receive these vaccines. It is believed that 200 million doses – which would help fully protect 100 million people – will be shared this year, and the balance would be donated next year. 

During his speech in the U.S. military station at the Royal Air Force, Mildenhall in the UK, President Joe Biden said, “We have to end COVID-19 not just at home — which we’re doing — but everywhere.” Mildenhall, UK is President Biden’s first stop during his eight-day-long international trip. 

Jake Sullivan, the National Security adviser, said President Joe Biden is committed to sharing COVID-19 vaccines with the world because it is in the strategic and public health interests of the United States. Sullivan added that President Biden is aiming to show “that democracies are the countries that can best deliver solutions for people everywhere.”

The United States has been facing mounting pressure to outline its vaccine sharing plan in recent months. Inequities in global supply have become a lot more pronounced, and the demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., where almost 64 percent of the adults have received at least one shot, has dropped considerably. 

Last week, the Biden administration unveiled its plan to donate a total of 25 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine internationally, mostly via the UN-backed COVAX program. Overall, the White House has announced that it will share 80 million doses by the end of June, globally. Although Biden’s plans to donate vaccines globally drew immediate praise, others have called on the United States to do more.