US President Joe Biden’s administration is negotiating with Pfizer to purchase an additional 500 million coronavirus vaccines to donate globally, a person familiar with the matter said, doubling the government’s commitment to helping less rich countries.
A deal should be announced in the next few days, in view of the international summit on Covid convened by Biden on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, according to Bloomberg sources.
The Biden administration struck a nearly identical deal with the company in August, and Pfizer shipped those doses to Covax. The program has been slow in delivering doses to participating countries, leaving many less wealthy countries to vaccinate only a small percentage of their population.
For its part, on 17 September the coordinator of the team White House’s Covid Crisis Management Officer Jeff Zents said, “The president has made it clear that we will do more and more to help guide global vaccination against the Corona virus.”
While donations are an important diplomatic gesture on the part of the United States, mass vaccination of the world’s population will also help reduce the chances of mutations that could escape vaccines that protect Americans.
The large donation will also help avoid criticism that the US is stockpiling vaccines to give its citizens a boost. in waiting for some low-income regions of the world to be vaccinated. The Food and Drug Administration’s decision on whether to eliminate booster doses for use could come within days, after a panel of outside experts recommended that vaccines be phased out for people aged 65 and over. years and for those at high risk.
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