President Joe Biden will announce a purchase of another 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be shared with poorer countries dealing with severe COVID-19 outbreaks and a shortage of shots.
Biden will make the announcement this week during his trip to the United Kingdom for the G-7 summit, according to the Washington Post. He did not go into details Wednesday on his way to Britain but told reporters that he would be announcing a new global vaccination strategy.
Calls for the Biden administration to share excess coronavirus doses with other countries such as India have increased over the past month while vaccine supplies remain low. Biden announced last month that his administration “will send 80 million doses overseas,” by the end of June, adding that “this will be more vaccines than any country has actually shared to date.” The first shipment will prioritize Latin America and Caribbean countries, as well as the World Health Organization’s global vaccine initiative Covax, aimed at delivering 2 billion doses by the end of the year
The Pfizer vaccine was the first to be authorized for use in the United States for adults over 16, and was authorized for use in children age 12-15 last month. To date, more than 61% of Americans 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 50% have been fully vaccinated.