U.S. will donate 500 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses worldwide

From the White House, President Biden announces a doubling of U.S. global vaccine donations during a virtual summit convened on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. (© Evan Vucci/AP Images)
From the White House, President Biden announces a doubling of U.S. global vaccine donations during a virtual summit convened on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. (© Evan Vucci/AP Images)

The United States will ship an additional 500 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world and form new partnerships to accelerate the recovery from COVID-19, President Biden announced September 22.

“The good news is, we know how to beat this pandemic: vaccines, public health measures, and collective action,” Biden said at a global COVID-19 summit convened virtually on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. “Governments can do a lot, but we cannot do everything alone.”

The president said the United States will donate, not sell, 500 million additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to low-and middle-income nations, bringing the total number of vaccines the U.S. has donated to over 1.1 billion doses.

The United States has already shipped nearly 160 million doses to 100 countries — donating more vaccines than all other countries combined.

Biden said that United States is donating three doses to the world for every one shot administered in the United States.

International partnerships

The president also announced a new partnership between the United States and the European Union to ensure vaccines are distributed equitably to nations in need. The United States continues to support COVAX as the world’s vaccine distributor.

Other efforts include the following:

  • The United States is pledging $370 million to support efforts that ensure shots are administered and another $380 million to help Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance distribute the vaccines to areas with the greatest need.
  • As part of the Quad partnership among Australia, India, Japan and the United States, the alliance plans to boost manufacturing in India to 1 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2022.
  • The United States will assist South Africa in its efforts to increase vaccine manufacturing of 500 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses that will be distributed in Africa throughout 2022.

The United States and its allies support the World Health Organization’s goal to vaccinate at least 40 percent of the world’s population by the end of 2021 and 70 percent by September 2022.

“We also know from experience that getting those vaccines into people’s arms may be the hardest logistical challenge we’ve faced,” Biden said. “That’s why we need to significantly step up our investment in helping countries get shots in arms.”

Ending the global public health crisis requires full cooperation between governments, civil society organizations and public health institutions, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said as he closed the virtual COVID-19 summit.

Other tools

To reduce the spread of the virus, the United States will provide $1.4 billion to supply oxygen units, support expanded testing and strengthen health systems worldwide. The goal is to have sufficient oxygen facilities in all nations by the end of 2022.

“Simply put, we will use every tool we have to stop the spread of the virus,” Blinken said. “If we work together with the unity and urgency required at this moment, we can end the pandemic.”