Biden to announce US will buy 500 million vaccine doses to donate to poorer nations

President Joe Biden has struck a deal with vaccine giant Pfizer to buy 500 million more doses that would be donated to a global vaccine program that delivers doses to lower-income countries, according to a person familiar with the plan.

The deal calls for 200 million doses delivered this year and 300 million in the first half of 2022. Biden was expected to discuss the details on Thursday in the United Kingdom where he is meeting with the leaders of the Group of 7 nations – his first foreign trip since taking office.

Before departing for England, Biden told reporters he has a COVID vaccine plan for the world. The White House declined to provide details publicly. The New York Times and AP first reported the plan.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks with reporters before boarding Air Force One, June 9, 2021, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

“I have one and I’ll be announcing it,” he told reporters.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said more details would be provided after the president’s announcement Thursday.

“We’ll be able to talk about additional steps the United States has taken to help donate more doses to poor countries around the world, and also to leverage what the United States 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 said.

The decision to buy 500 million doses for global supply comes as the Biden administration scrambles to figure out what to do with a glut of vaccine doses sitting on shelves across the US before they expire later this month. Industry and federal officials are weighing whether they can extend the expiration dates or ship them overseas.

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