President Joe Biden says the United States is doubling its purchase of Pfizer's COVID-19 shots to share about one billion doses with the world as he embraces the goal of vaccinating 70 per cent of the global population within the next year.
The stepped-up US commitment marks the cornerstone of the global vaccination summit Biden convened virtually on the sidelines of the Uniterd Nations General Assembly, where he encouraged well-off countries to do more to get the coronavirus under control.
World leaders, aid groups and global health organisations are growing increasingly vocal about the slow pace of global vaccinations and the inequity of access to shots between residents of wealthier and poorer countries.
The US purchase of another 500 million shots brings the total US vaccination commitment to more than 1.1 billion doses through 2022.
About 160 million shots supplied by the US have already been distributed to more than 100 countries, representing more donations than the rest of the world combined.
The remaining US doses will be distributed in the coming year.
“To beat the pandemic here, we need to beat it everywhere,” Biden said.
He added that with the new commitments, “For every one shot we've administered to date in America, we have now committed to do three shots to the rest of the world”.
The latest purchase reflects only a fraction of what will be necessary to meet a goal of vaccinating 70 per cent of the global population – and 70 per cent of the citizens of each countries – by next September's UN meeting.Internet Explorer Channel Network