President Joe Biden announced Wednesday the United States would double its worldwide vaccine donation to 1 billion doses. The video above shows clips of the announcement.
“The United States is buying another half billion doses of Pfizer to donate to low and middle income countries around the world,” President Biden said. “This is another half billion doses that will all be shipped by this time next year.” The doses will start shipping in January.
“From January through September of next year, we will ship out 800 million vaccines to the world,” a senior Biden official said ahead of the announcement.
According to that official, before Wednesday’s vaccine donation announcement, the U.S. had committed to donating over 600 million doses around the world, 500 million of those being Pfizer doses.
“We’ve already shipped nearly 160 million doses to one hundred countries, more than every other country has donated combined,” Biden said.
The goal of the donation is to get 70 percent of the global population and 70 percent of the citizens of each nation to take the vaccine by next September’s U.N. meeting. However, the latest U.S. purchase reflects only a fraction of what will be necessary to meet that goal.
“We know that additional steps will be needed to help vaccinate the world, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” the Biden official said. “We’re working to further leverage U.S. manufacturing and production capabilities. We’re investing in raw materials needed to make vaccines. And we’re helping fuel production at home and abroad.”
Wednesday’s vaccine donation announcement highlighted President Biden’s “global COVID-19 Summit focused on ending the pandemic”. It was held on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
“Our goals for the summit are clear: We’re calling on world leaders and all sectors to do more collectively, measurably, on three specific areas. First, we need to vaccinate the world,” a different senior Biden official said ahead of the summit. “Second, we need to save lives now by solving the global oxygen crisis, making tests and therapeutics more available, and enhancing access to personal protective equipment. Third, we need to build back better, which means preparing for the next pandemic by establishing a sustainable health security financing mechanism and ensuring we have the political leadership we need for emerging threats.”