President Joe Biden says the United States has purchased 500 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to donate to COVAX, which distributes vaccines to countries in need.
The news comes after Biden arrived in England Wednesday on his first foreign trip during his presidency. He said he wants to use the eight-day trip through Europe to develop a plan with other G-7 countries to help end the pandemic worldwide.
“We have to end COVID-19 not only at home, which we are doing, but everywhere,” Biden said during his stop at Royal Air Force Base in Mildenhall.
The vaccine distribution signals a growing role for the United States in the global vaccination effort and followed Biden’s pledge to share 80 million additional doses with COVAX and other countries by the end of June. The COVAX program, run in conjunction with the WHO, raises funds to purchase vaccines to give vaccinations to 20 percent of the world’s population by the end of the year.
Worldwide, about 2 billion vaccinations have been given, the vast majority in high- and upper-middle-income countries.