500m vaccine doses from US to the world

World | REUTERS 11 Jun 2021

The United States will spend US$3.5 billion (HK$27.3 billion) to buy and donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to some of the world's poorest countries, it said yesterday, urging other G7 nations to follow suit.

The vaccine donation - the largest by a single country - was announced before US President Joe Biden meets leaders of the Group of Seven advanced economies in England. The 500 million doses are destined for the world's 100 poorest countries.

A senior Biden administration official described the gesture as a "major step forward that will supercharge the global effort" with the aim of "bringing hope to every corner of the world."

"This is fundamentally about a singular objective of saving lives," the official said, adding that Washington was not seeking favors in exchange for the doses.

The Biden administration expects other G7 members to come up with contributions as part of a comprehensive road map to end a pandemic that has killed more than 3.9 million people, the official added.

US drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech had earlier said they would provide 200 million doses in 2021 and 300 million doses in the first half of 2022.

The shots, which will be produced at Pfizer's US sites, will be supplied at a not-for-profit price.

Anti-poverty campaign group Oxfam called for more to be done to increase global production of vaccines.

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