The U.S. will buy 500 million more doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to share through the COVAX alliance for donation to 92 lower income countries (AP)
NEW DELHI: The US will purchase 500 million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines for distribution through WHO’s COVAX programme, according to sources.
An announcement from US President Joe Biden could come as early as Thursday.
The vaccines purchased would go to 92 lower income countries, including some in Africa.
Sources say that US will purchase the first batch of 200 million doses this year itself. The balance 300 million is likely to be purchased in early 2022.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Wednesday that Biden was committed to sharing vaccines because it was in the public health and strategic interests of the US.
The news comes a week after the White House unveiled plans to donate an initial allotment of 25 million doses of surplus vaccine overseas, mostly through the United Nations-backed COVAX program, promising infusions for South and Central America, Asia, Africa and others at a time of glaring shortages abroad.
Overall, the White House has announced plans to share 80 million doses globally by the end of June, most through COVAX.
On Wednesday, Biden left for Europe, on his first foreign trip since assuming office. The announcement on the vaccine donation deal from the US President is expected after he arrives in Europe.
Joe Biden will be attendng the G-7 summit in UK. He will then travel to Brussels for the NATO and US-European Union meetings. He will wrap up his tour of Europe with a meeting with Russian President Putin in Geneva on June 16.
(With agency inputs)