On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced his plan to buy an additional 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to distribute to lower-income countries, increasing the U.S. commitment to fighting the pandemic across the globe. Biden made the announcement in the Cornwall village of St. Ives, the United Kingdom seaside resort village where world leaders are gathering for the G-7 summit.

Said Biden: “That’s a historic step. The largest single purchase and donation COVID-19 vaccines by any single country ever. Importantly, this is the mRNA vaccine, which is proven to be extremely effective against COVID-19 and every known variant of that virus thus far. These half a billion vaccines will start to be shipped in August, as quickly as they roll off the manufacturing line. 200 million of these doses will be delivered this year, 2021. And 300 million more will be delivered in the first half of 2022.”

Biden also stressed getting vaccines distributed around the world was also in American’s best interest to keep variants in check, and improve the global economy following the impacts of the pandemic. Biden had previously criticized other countries, including Russia and China, for seeking to curry favor with their vaccine programs, and argued the new surge of doses from the U.S. were being offered with “no strings attached.”  The President said, “Let me be clear, just as with the 80 million doses we previously announced, the United States is providing these half-million doses with no strings attached. Let me say it again, with no strings attached. Our vaccine donations don’t include pressure for favors or potential concessions. We’re doing this to save lives, to end this pandemic, that’s it. Period.”

Editorial credit: Stratos Brilakis / Shutterstock.com

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