President Biden speaks during a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Oval Office of the White House on Sept. 21, 2021, in Washington.
The United States will buy 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to donate to countries in need, President Biden is expected to announce at a virtual summit Wednesday on ending the coronavirus pandemic, amid criticism that his administration has done too little on the global stage.
The Biden administration already purchased 500 million doses of the vaccine in July to be distributed in tranches to poorer countries through Covax, the initiative led by the World Health Organization, Gavi, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
“This is a monumental commitment by the United States, bringing our total number of donated vaccines to the world to more than 1.1 billion,” White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients and Blinken wrote in an op-ed in the Post on Wednesday. “For every one shot we’ve put in an American arm to date, we are now donating about three shots globally.”
The summit, which coincides with this week’s United Nations General Assembly meetings, will be broken into four sessions, according to administration officials who previewed the event with reporters on Tuesday. Biden will chair the first session on the need to vaccinate the world, where he will call on global leaders to fully vaccinate 70 percent of the world’s population by next September.