US President Joe Biden will announce Thursday that the United States will purchase and donate half a billion Pfizer vaccines to 92 low- and lower middle-income countries and the African Union aimed at supercharging the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the White House, this is the largest-ever purchase and donation of vaccines by a single country and a commitment by the American people to help protect people around the world from COVID-19. President Biden will also call on the world’s democracies to do their parts in contributing to the global supply of safe and effective vaccines. The goal of Thursday’s donation is to save lives and end the pandemic and will provide the foundation for additional actions to be announced in the coming days, the White House said in a statement.
“Thanks to the success of our vaccination program, the United States is beating COVID-19 here at home. 64% of adult Americans have received at least one shot in just four and a half months, daily death rates are lower than at any point in the pandemic, and our economy is rebounding,” the White House statement said, adding that, “Now, the United States is using the power of our democracy, the ingenuity of American scientists, and the strength of American manufacturing to beat the pandemic globally by helping to vaccinate the world.”
The announcement comes on the heels of President Biden’s donation of at least 80 million vaccines from the United States’ supply by the end of June. Additionally, the United States has contributed two billion dollars to COVAX, more than any other nation—and is supporting local production capacity abroad for safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, including through the Quad initiative, the White House said.
“President Biden has been clear that borders cannot keep this pandemic at bay and has vowed that our nation will be the arsenal of vaccines. The historic step the President will announce today therefore protects the health of the American people and the people throughout the world who will benefit from these life-saving vaccines,” the statement said.