President Joe Biden will reportedly direct his administration to purchase 500 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for the purpose of donating the shots to developing countries around the world.
The Washington Post reported the president’s plan on Wednesday, which Mr Biden will reportedly detail during a meeting of the Group of Seven (G-7) nations in the UK this week.
The Independent has reached out to the White House and State Department for comment.
Mr Biden’s pledge, if accurate, would be a major step up in commitment to ending the global Covid-19 pandemic by the US, which previously planned to donate about 80 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to developing nations including 19 million doses that are to be shared with the World Health Organization’s COVAX effort.
It wasn’t immediately clear what share of the Biden administration’s new vaccine donation would go to the COVAX effort. The WHO-led program aims to help countries vaccinate at least 20 percent of their total population against Covid-19, but suffers from insufficient access to vaccines itself.
The reported US plan comes as the world faces a massive disparity between the populations of rich and poor nations in terms of the rate of vaccinations. While the US has seen more than 40 percent of its population become fully inoculated against the virus, most developing countries have struggled to vaccinate even a fraction of that number.
Even more-developed nations such as Japan, which is set to host the Summer Olympic Games in the coming weeks, have struggled to obtain large quantities of vaccines and roll out distribution to significant segments of their populations.
COVAX has facilitated donations of more than 80 million vaccine doses to dozens of countries, and set a goal last year of donating more than 2 billion doses before the end of 2021.