Over the next two years, US President Joe Biden’s administration plans to purchase 500 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to donate to other countries.
According to reports in the US media, approximately 200 million doses will be distributed this year, with the remaining doses arriving in 2022. Although the White House has yet to comment on the plan to distribute 500 million doses globally, President Biden mentioned it as he landed in the United Kingdom for his first foreign trip.
An eager crowd awaited his arrival on Wednesday at the RAF Mildenhall airbase in Suffolk, hoping to catch a glimpse of Air Force One when Mr. Biden touched down on Wednesday evening.
Biden has been speaking to US troops stationed at the base, honouring military families and remembering his late son, Beau, who served in the National Guard. He praised America’s allies – “like-minded nations” – and declared, “The United States is back!”
Mr. Biden will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in addition to meeting with European partners. The eight-day trip will begin on Thursday with a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in advance of the G7 summit in Cornwall.
The G7 (Group of Seven) is made up of the world’s seven largest so-called advanced economies – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – as well as the European Union.
Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, had earlier on June 3 sought the support of G7 health ministers in order to meet vaccination targets by the end of the year.
In his remarks at the G7 Health Ministers meeting in Oxford, Ghebreyesus urged the ministers to take the lead in strengthening WHO through sustainable financing.
First, we seek your support for reaching our vaccination targets for September and the end of the year; sharing doses with COVAX now is essential for achieving those targets.
We need 250 million doses by September and we need 100 million doses just in June and July,’’ he said.
Similarly, Johnson stated that he would urge G7 leaders to commit to immunizing the entire world against COVID-19 by the end of next year. Leaders will arrive in Cornwall on Friday, with meetings beginning the next morning.