PRESIDENT Joe Biden said he ordered 100million more doses of coronavirus vaccines on Wednesday and said any surplus would be shared with other countries.
Biden announced the new vaccine procurement in an event with the chief executives of Johnson & Johnson and Merck.
President Joe Biden announced plans to procure 100million more Covid-19 vaccine doesesCredit: Splash News
More than 527,000 people in the US have died of Covid-19
“We’re going to start off and ensure Americans are taken care of first, but we’re then going to try to help the rest of the world,” Biden said later in the day.
“If we have a surplus, we’re going to share it with the rest of the world.”
Biden said the US has committed to giving $4billion to the COVAX global initiative to distribute vaccines to developing countries.
He added that the pandemic would not be over until the virus was contained all over the globe.
President Joe Biden held a press conference with the chief executives of Johnson & Johnson and MerckCredit: Reuters
President Joe Biden said any surplus in vaccines would be given to other countriesCredit: Reuters
“We’re not going to be ultimately safe, until the world is safe,” the president said.
The Biden administration is focused on making sure it has enough vaccine doses for Americans who want to get vaccinated, and then plans to focus on expanding vaccinations worldwide, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
Biden also spoke about making sure that vaccines reached developing countries but did not go into specifics, Psaki said.
The US, UK, countries in the European Union and other wealthier members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Wednesday blocked an effort by more than 80 developing countries to waive patent rights in order to speed up coronavirus vaccine production.
The poorer nations, led by India and South Africa, pushed for a temporary waiver of the WTO’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement which would allow generic manufacturers to produce more vaccines.
But the wealthier countries say that protecting intellectual property rights boosts research and innovation and that waiving the rights would not lead to a dramatic spike in vaccine production.
As of Wednesday, more than 529,000 people had died of Covid-19 in the US and there were more than 29million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.