US to donate 500 million additional Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to the world
Agencies | Washington
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
US President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that America would donate an additional 500 million Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine doses to other countries, bringing its total commitment to 1.1 billion doses. The American made the announcement while addressing a Covid-19 summit of world leaders.
"This is an all-hands-on-deck crisis. America will become the arsenal for vaccines as we were the arsenal for democracy in World War II," Biden said.
The US president informed that the US has already shipped 160 million of these doses to 100 countries.
"We need other high-income countries to deliver on their own ambitions," Biden said, adding that "we're not going to solve this crisis with half measures."
Notably, the announcement comes at a time when the World Health Organization (WHO) has criticised the USA and other wealthy nations for their plans to roll out COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.
Meanwhile, data released by AFP said that six billion anti-Covid shots have been administered worldwide so far. China, India and the USA have administered the most vaccine doses worldwide.
What is COVAX
COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi and the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside key delivery partner UNICEF.
COVAX was set up in April of 2020 to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
The Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has stressed that it is important that 40 per cent of the population in each and every country should be vaccinated by the end of this year.
COVAX is a boon for the lower-income funded countries, who would otherwise be unable to afford these vaccines, as well as a number of higher-income self-financing countries that have no bilateral deals with manufacturers. COVAX is quite literally a lifeline and the only viable way in which their citizens will get access to COVID-19 vaccines.