'Need To Do Our Part': Joe Biden Calls On Rich Countries To Escalate Covid-19 Vaccine Donations

President Joe Biden has urged other countries to assist end the Covid-19 pandemic by greatly increasing the development and accessibility of coronavirus vaccines and treatments.

On Wednesday, Biden sponsored a virtual vaccine conference, which coincided with the United Nations leaders' meetings, in an attempt to mobilise additional help to underdeveloped countries where vaccines, medicines, and supplies are in short supply. It's also a response to criticism levelled at the United States and other wealthy countries for preparing booster shots that would restrict the number of dosages available for shipment elsewhere.

The conference demonstrated how tough it will be to achieve Biden's objectives. He asked for 70 per cent of the world's population to get vaccinated by the end of next year, but according to research from an anti-poverty organisation, the globe isn't on track to meet that goal. Biden also urged for a billion more doses to be pledged, with the US promising 500 million more doses.

Biden framed the meeting as a starting point, saying leaders will meet again in a few months, and supporters praised the US initiative. However, the conference will be a litmus test for whether the global response, as well as donations, will improve following months of vaccine nationalism, which has channelled vaccine doses largely to wealthy countries.

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The leaders of the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, and Indonesia, as well as private-sector personalities and representatives from non-governmental groups, are expected to attend the summit. One of the four sessions, on vaccinating the world, was chaired by Biden, while another was led by Vice President Kamala Harris. Almost majority of it took place behind closed doors. A list of guests was not released by the White House.

Biden announced that the US will purchase another 500 million doses of Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE's vaccine for international donation, bringing the total number of doses donated by the US to 1.1 billion. The shots will be manufactured in the United States and distributed to low- and lower-middle-income nations through Covax, a worldwide vaccine sharing scheme, commencing in January and ending in September.

In addition, Biden promised $370 million in US financing to assist with vaccination administration in other countries.

Before the summit, administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, declined to reveal how much the Pfizer purchase would cost, but said the contracting process is still underway. They further stated that the doses would be distributed on a non-profit basis.

In a statement, Pfizer confirmed the agreement. The company intends to manufacture them in four plants across the United States.

Shortly after Biden's speech, reporters were ushered out of the event, and it was unclear whether any other countries had agreed to provide bullets. As part of the conference, the United States called for a billion extra doses to be purchased or donated to underdeveloped countries.

The new US promise follows a 500-million-dose contribution announced at the Group of Seven summit in the United Kingdom in June. The immunizations were first distributed last month. The US contribution total is now at least 1.13 billion doses, more than double the quantity supplied domestically, thanks to 130 million pills transported overseas so far that were originally purchased for domestic use.

By the end of 2021, at least 330 million dollars will have been pledged. The remaining 800 million will be delivered in 2022, including all of Biden's new pledges.