President Biden is slated to announce the plan this week at the Group of Seven meeting in Britain, where he is expected to be joined by Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. The deal comes amid growing calls for the United States and other rich countries to play a more substantial role in boosting the global supply of coronavirus vaccines.
The White House and Pfizer declined to comment, but the president hinted he would be announcing his global plan as he boarded Air Force One to Britain on Wednesday.
“I have one, and I’ll be announcing it,” he told reporters.
Many public health experts and advocacy groups cheered the news of the White House’s deal with Pfizer, saying U.S. leadership on the issue will be critical to vaccinating the world — even if much remains to be done.
“It’s an extraordinary development,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, adding that the announcement “sends a profound signal in terms of U.S. commitment to global health security and willingness to help end this pandemic for the world and the United States.”
The question of how to close the vaccine gap and end the pandemic is expected to be front and center at the G-7 summit this week. In the lead-up to the meeting of wealthy democracies, Biden’s vaccine-sharing strategy has been under intense scrutiny — both at home and abroad.
“The president is focused on helping to vaccinate the world because he believes it is the right thing to do; it’s what Americans do in times of need,” Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters aboard Air Force One, while declining to discuss specifics of the president’s announcement. “When we have the capacity, then we have the will, and we step up and we deliver. And he said in his joint session that we were the arsenal of democracy in World War II, and we’re going to be the arsenal of vaccines over the course of the next period to end this pandemic.”
The Biden administration previously announced it would share at least 80 million vaccine doses with the world by the end of June. Last week, the White House detailed plans for how it would allocate 25 million doses, with about 19 million of them being shared with Covax. Roughly 6 million shots would be shared directly with countries experiencing severe coronavirus outbreaks, including India.
But congressional Democrats and some health advocates have been calling for the administration to do more. At the same time, Biden’s surprise decision to support a proposal to waive patent protections for coronavirus vaccines has faced strong pushback from the European Union. Experts have said the patent waiver, which would probably not even be approved for months, will do little to boost vaccine supply in the near term, as it could take years before countries build factories and amass the materials and expertise to produce the vaccines.
According to washingtonpost.com. Source of photos: internet