On Thursday Jun 10th, US President Joe Biden said the battle against Covid-19 is supercharged. He refers to the US donation of 500 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to the world’s poorest countries. Also, Biden says that there are “no strings attached” together with the vaccines.
Thanking other leaders
In the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay in the UK, Biden spoke alongside Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla. Both gentlemen were in Carbis Bay together to attend a G7 summit. Other leaders were thanked by the duo for recognising their responsibility to vaccinate the world.
Biden said “The United States is providing these half billion doses with no strings attached. No strings attached.”
“Our vaccine donations don’t include pressure for favours, or potential concessions. We’re doing this to save lives.”
President Biden cast the donation as a bold move. The President is keen not only to burnish his multilateral credentials, but also stand out on his first foreign trip. All in all, Biden is showing the G7 leaders that America recognises its responsibilities. As can be seen, America is responsible to its own citizens and to the world.
Biden said “America will be the arsenal of vaccines in our fight against COVID-19, just as America was the arsenal of democracy during World War Two.“
The United States will use US$3.5 billion to fund the largest ever vaccine donation by a single country. There are hopes the US donation will encourage further donations from other G7 leaders. This also includes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Vaccinating the world by 2022
To halt the COVID-19 pandemic, G7 leaders want to vaccinate the world by the end of 2022. The resulting COVID-19 pandemic devastated the global economy and disrupted the normal lives of billions of people. Also, at this point in time, over 3.9 million people succumbed to COVID-19.
The United States, Europe, Israel and Bahrain are far ahead of other countries in relation to vaccinating their citizens. As such, it can be seen a country’s wealth is heavily correlated with vaccination efforts so far. For instance, current data from Johns Hopkins University. The data shows only 2.2 billion people out of a world population of nearly 8 billion are currently vaccinated.
Under an agreement, US drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech will supply the US with the vaccines in stages. From the agreement, the first 200 million doses will be delivered in 2021. Following that, the first half of 2022 will see the delivery of another 300 million doses.
100 countries will receive Pfizer’s shots
Pfizer’s US sites will manufacture the vaccines, and supply them at cost to the US government. Nearly 100 countries around the world will be recipients of the vaccines.
All the eyes of the world are focusing on the leaders of rich nations. The issue at hand is whether rich nations would share vaccines with poorer nations, to help solve the COVID-19 crisis. This is according to Pfizer’s CEO, Bourla. He said the US President’s announcement brings this goal closer. As a result, this move will enhance their ability to save significantly more lives across the globe.
Calls for more vaccines
Many organizations welcomed this large donation of vaccines. As such, there were immediate calls to the richest nations to open up more of their giant reserves of vaccines.
Anti-poverty campaign group Oxfam is also making calls for more effort to increase global production of vaccines.
Niko Lusiani, Oxfam America’s vaccine lead, said “Surely, these 500 million vaccine doses are welcome as they will help more than 250 million people, but that’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the need across the world.“
In closing, Lusiani stated, “We need a transformation toward more distributed vaccine manufacturing so that qualified producers worldwide can produce billions more low-cost doses on their own terms, without intellectual property constraints.“
11th June 2021 23:00
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