Biden to lay out vax donations, urge world leaders to join

chicago.suntimes.com
6 min read
fairly difficult
In a speech Thursday on the eve of the summit of wealthy G-7 democracies, President Joe Biden will outline plans for the U.S. to donate 500 million vaccine doses around the globe over the next year, on top of 80 million doses he has already pledged by the end of the month.
MAWGAN PORTH, England — One year ago, the U.S. was the deadliest hotspot of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the cancellation of the Group of Seven summit it was due to host. Now, the U.S. is emerging as a model for how to successfully recover from more than 15 months of global crisis.

U.S. officials say Biden will also ask fellow G-7 leaders to do the same.

The U.S. has faced mounting pressure to outline its global vaccine sharing plan, especially as inequities in supply around the world have become more pronounced and the demand for shots in the U.S. has dropped precipitously in recent weeks.

"We have to end COVID-19, not just at home — which we're doing — but everywhere," Biden told American servicemembers Wednesday on the first stop of a three-country, eight-day trip, his first since taking office. He added that the effort "requires coordinated, multilateral action."

The new U.S. commitment is to buy and donate 500 million Pfizer doses for distribution through the global COVAX alliance to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union, bringing the first steady supply of mRNA vaccine to the countries that need it most. A price tag for the 500 million doses was not released, but the U.S. is now set to be COVAX's largest vaccine donor in addition to its single largest funder with a $4 billion commitment.

The global alliance has thus far distributed just 81 million doses and parts of the world, particularly in Africa, remain vaccine deserts. White House officials hope the ramped-up distribution program can be the latest example of a theme Biden plans to hit frequently during his week in Europe: that Western democracies, and not rising authoritarian states, can deliver the most good for the world.

White House officials said the 500 million vaccines will be shipped starting in August, with the goal of distributing 200 million by the end of the year. The remaining 300 million doses would be shipped in the first half of 2022.

"We're in this position because…
Associated Press
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