Biden to purchase 500M Pfizer shots for rest of the world

The Biden administration is planning to buy 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to share with the rest of the world.

President Biden teased the plan Wednesday before boarding Air Force One for his first foreign trip, saying he would outline his strategy at the Group of Seven nations summit in England.

The White House declined to comment, but a source familiar with the plan said 200 million doses from the purchase will be donated this year and 300 million during the first half of 2022.

The doses will be filtered through COVAX, the main global vaccine-sharing partnership, and go to 92 low- and lower-income countries, plus the African Union.

Mr. Biden will outline the plan in remarks to G-7 leaders Thursday. His COVID-19 coordinator, Jeffrey Zients, had been working on the deal for the past month.

The White House previously committed to donating 80 million vaccine doses from the U.S. to other countries. It has started dispatching shots to South Korea, Taiwan, Guatemala and other places.

Still, the president was under pressure to do much more as China and Russia share vaccines in a form of vaccine diplomacy.

The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, so the reported purchase would be enough to fully immunize 250 million people.

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