President Joe Biden has announced the US will be purchasing hundreds of millions of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses to donate to other countries, the Washington Post reports.
Previously, the Biden Administration said in May it would be sharing millions of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses with other countries and in June said it was buying 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine with plans of distributing 200 million doses this year and the rest in the first half of next year through COVAX, as the Post reported at the time. In early August, it said it was set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad. Global health experts, though, told NPR at the time that billions of doses were needed.
This new announcement, timed to the UN General Assembly, doubles the number of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses the US is buying to share globally, the Associated Press says, adding Biden has also embraced a goal set by aid groups to vaccinate 70 percent of the global population within a year. "To beat the pandemic here, we need to beat it everywhere," Biden said, according to the AP.
However, the AP notes that only 15 percent of promised vaccine donations from wealthy countries have been delivered and that COVAX has missed most of its sharing targets.