The White House is reportedly purchasing hundreds of millions of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine with the intention of donating the supply to other countries. The Washington Post says the movie is part of the U.S. effort to help vaccinate the global population.
Neither a Biden Administration official or Pfizer would issue any on-the-record comments about the vaccine purchase, but sources say the official announcing will come as the U.N. General Assembly meeting takes place next week.
The U.S. purchased 500 million doses of the vaccine back in June to be distributed by Covax, the World Health Organization-backed initiative to share COVID vaccines around the world. Officials said the donated vaccines would be targeted at low- and middle-income countries.
Last May, Biden stressed that helping to vaccinate the rest of the globe was a duty the United States was obligated to take on.
“We need to help fight the disease around the world to keep us safe here at home and to do the right thing helping other people. It’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, it’s the strong thing to do.”President Joe Biden, May 17
The U.S. has been criticism domestically and abroad that it has not done enough to help inoculate other countries that don’t have easy access to the vaccines. The complaints have only gotten louder as the administration debates on when to start having third booster shots be distributed to Americans. White House officials have stressed that they have sufficient supplies of the vaccine to meet the demand for booster shots and make significant global donations.
The White House is also expected to formally announce it will host a coronavirus summit of world leaders and global health advocates next week. The goal of the summit, due to take place Wednesday, is to get international leaders to commit to a specific plan for ending the pandemic. That includes securing billions of extra vaccine doses for developing countries and getting 70 percent of the world’s population fully vaccinated by September of 2022.