CARBIS BAY, England:
The United States will invest $3.5 billion to acquire and donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to some of the world’s poorest nations, it mentioned on Thursday, urging other G7 nations to adhere to suit.
The vaccine donation – the biggest ever by a single nation – was announced prior to U.S. President Joe Biden meets leaders of the Group of Seven sophisticated economies in western England.
The 500 million doses are destined for the world’s one hundred poorest nations. A senior Biden administration official described the gesture as a “major step forward that will supercharge the global effort” with the aim of “bringing hope to every corner of the world.” “We really want to underscore that this is fundamentally about a singular objective of saving lives,” the official mentioned, adding that Washington was not in search of favours in exchange for the doses.
The Biden administration expects other G7 members to come up with contributions as aspect of a complete road map to finish a pandemic that has killed more than 3.9 million men and women, the official added.
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its German companion BioNTech had earlier mentioned they would provide 200 million doses in 2021 and 300 million doses in the initial half of 2022.
The shots, which will be developed at Pfizer’s U.S. web sites, will be supplied at a not-for-profit value.
“Our partnership with the U.S. government will help bring hundreds of millions of doses of our vaccine to the poorest countries around the world as quickly as possible,” mentioned Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla.
‘DROP IN THE BUCKET’
Anti-poverty campaign group Oxfam referred to as for more to be accomplished to enhance international production of vaccines.
“Surely, these 500 million vaccine doses are welcome as they will help more than 250 million people, but that’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the need across the world,” mentioned Niko Lusiani, Oxfam America’s vaccine lead.
“We need a transformation toward more distributed vaccine manufacturing so that qualified producers worldwide can produce billions more low-cost doses on their own terms, without intellectual property constraints,” he added in a statement.
Biden has backed calls for a waiver of some vaccine intellectual home rights but there is no international consensus on how to proceed.
The new donations come on leading of 80 million doses Washington has currently pledged to donate by the finish of June, and $2 billion in funding earmarked for the COVAX system led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the White House mentioned.
GAVI and the WHO welcomed the initiative.
Washington is also taking measures to help neighborhood production of COVID-19 vaccines in other nations, which includes via its Quad initiative with Japan, India and Australia.
Biden’s announcement comes amid mounting stress for the United States, which has now offered at least one shot to about 64% of its adult population, to increase donations of vaccines to other nations in desperate have to have.