Biden Will Reportedly Buy—And Donate To Other Countries—Millions More Covid Vaccine Doses

According to the Washington Post, the United States will buy millions more Pfizers vaccines for other countries. This comes as many countries struggle with low vaccination rates and a global effort to provide vaccines to poorer nations faces shortages.

On April 8, 2021, medical staff in Erfurt, Germany prepare a vial from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination. Getty Images

The Key Facts

According to the Post, the Biden administration plans to announce additional vaccine purchases next week. This announcement coincides with Tuesday's opening of the U.N. General Assemblys regular sessions. Although it is not clear how the vaccine doses will go out, the Biden administration has already designated earlier rounds to COVAX, an initiative of the World Health Organization to provide coronavirus vaccines for low- and medium-income countries. It also offered some vaccine supplies to countries that are experiencing severe Covid-19 surges. Amy Rose, spokesperson for Pfizer, said that the company was committed to ensuring equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines and is working with governments in this regard. Forbes reached out to the White House for comment but they did not respond immediately.

What we don't know

These doses will not be delivered by Pfizer at this time. The company has received orders from governments around the globe for billions of vaccine doses. Some orders will be delivered in 2022.

Big Number

5.85 billion According to Bloomberg data, this is how many doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered globally since last year. The rates of vaccination vary greatly by country. More than 60% of Americans and European Union citizens are at least partially vaccinated against Covid-19. However, some sub-Saharan African nations are below 5%.

Important Background

Unsurprisingly, a large proportion of world's Covid-19 vaccine supplies has gone to wealthy countries that purchased hundreds of millions of doses in the last year. COVAX, which has received substantial U.S. support in the past, has sought to fill this gap. In June, the United States bought 500 million more doses of Pfizers Covid-19 and promised to donate them to low and middle-income countries via COVAX. The Biden administration also offered to contribute up to $4 billion over the next few year. COVAX still struggles with limited resources and restrictions on vaccine exports to India. COVAX reduced the number of vaccines it expects this year by 25% last week. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, called for a three-month-long moratorium on rich countries offering Covid-19 booster shots while billions of people wait for their first dose.

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USA to purchase hundreds of millions of more Pfizer vaccines to donate to the rest of the world (Washington Post).