Biden To Give $4 Billion To COVAX, Global COVID-19 Vaccine Effort

  • Biden To Give $4 Billion To COVAX, Global COVID-19 Vaccine Effort

Biden To Give $4 Billion To COVAX, Global COVID-19 Vaccine Effort

COVAX is a partnership created past year under the World Health Organization to help deliver billions of expensive vaccine doses to countries that can't afford them.

The meeting will be the first G7 leaders' meeting since last April, when they convened for an emergency virtual gathering as the pandemic was sweeping the globe.

The state of play: The U.S. has purchased 1.2 billion doses - enough to fully vaccinate every American adult 2.5 times over, assuming additional vaccines like Johnson & Johnson's are approved.

Joe Biden will use his first big presidential moment on the global stage at Friday's Group of Seven meeting of world leaders to announce that the US will soon begin releasing $4 billion for an worldwide effort to bolster the purchase and distribution of coronavirus vaccine to poor nations, White House officials said. The money has already been appropriated by Congress.

French President Emmanuel Macron told the Financial Times on Thursday that the U.S. and other European nations should allocate up to 5% of their current vaccine supplies to developing countries.

Macron said he was concerned about the "war of influence over vaccines" sparked by China and Russian Federation donating doses of their home-grown vaccines to poor countries.

J&J said last month that the vaccine was 66 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in a large late-stage global trial against multiple variants of the coronavirus. World Health Organization says COVAX needs $5 billion in 2021.

Advocates have called on the Biden administration and other wealthy nations to make plans for donating surplus doses, in addition to ramping up their financial contributions.

Biden administration officials said their focus was also on vaccinating Americans and sought to separate the domestic and global efforts.

"The United States is really excited to be making our first contribution to COVAX", said the official. "As G7 leaders prepare to meet for the first time since this pandemic started, the Biden administration should show strong global leadership and establish a framework and timeline for a global plan to distribute excess vaccine doses to countries who need it while simultaneously vaccinating the US' domestic population".

India has also recently begun donating and selling doses of vaccines produced domestically to poor countries that don't have access to other shots.

"Our filing with the World Health Organization marks another important step in our effort to combat COVID-19 and also in our unwavering commitment to equitable access", Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson vice chairman of the executive committee, and chief scientific officer, said in a news release.