According to a source familiar with the proposal, President Joe Biden has negotiated a deal with vaccine giant Pfizer to acquire additional 500M Vaccine Doses that will be donated to lower-income nations as demand increases for the US to share its vaccine surplus with the rest of the globe.
Biden is meeting with the leaders of the Group of Seven nations in the United Kingdom on Thursday, his first foreign trip since assuming office.
Biden teased reporters before leaving that he has a COVID vaccination plan for the whole planet.
He informed reporters, “I have one and I’ll be revealing it.”
The White House has refused to comment publicly on the matter. The concept was initially revealed by the Washington Post.
More information, according to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, will be released on Thursday.
“We’ll be able to talk about additional steps that the US has taken to help donate more doses to poor countries around the world,” he said. “We’ll also be able to leverage what the US is doing to help get the world’s democracies to increase their commitment to supplying vaccines to the developing world, to help end this pandemic once and for all,” he added.
The 500 million medicines intended would be in addition to the 300 million doses that the United States purchased from Pfizer and is presently distributing around the country. However, as vaccination doses continue to arrive, state governors have halted large-scale orders, notably for the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccination. Only 11 million Johnson & Johnson dosages have been administered in the United States, according to statistics given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, out of a total of 21 million distributed by the federal government.
Now, before many of the excess dosages expire, the Biden administration is trying to figure out what to do with them. The state of Ohio has issued a warning that 200,000 vaccination doses are slated to expire this month, while Arkansas has 70,000. Mississippi has returned 872,000 doses to the federal government.
J&J said in a statement that it is collaborating with the federal government to prolong the shelf life of its vaccine doses, and that federal officials are figuring out how to transfer some extra doses overseas.
The federal government “is dedicated to helping to ensure the vaccination is utilized, whether in the United States or elsewhere,” according to a State Department official.
Officials said the procedure may be cumbersome since the US must first collaborate with a country’s medical agency to exchange safety and regulatory information as well as offer supplies such as needles, syringes, and alcohol pads. In order for the immunizations to stay effective, they must be handled carefully and kept in a temperature-controlled environment.
“We will try to send doses to nations and injections into arms as fast as feasible in the coming weeks,” the State Department said in a statement.
Biden’s primary medical advisor and the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Wednesday that he has been “quite vociferous about the need for a worldwide response” to the variation. It’s likely that more severe forms of the virus will emerge if the infection spreads quickly in other areas where immunizations are rare.
“There’s a chance that a variety may emerge that will evade vaccination protection,” Fauci told MSNBC on Wednesday.