US to donate millions more doses of Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine to poor countries

US to donate millions more doses of Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine to poor countries

A child hugs his mother as he gets vaccinated against COVID-19 on Vaccination Day in Colombia.

Long visual press | Group of universal images | Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech will provide an additional 500 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. government for donation to low- and lower-middle-income countries.

The move, announced on Wednesday, represents an extension of the existing agreement between the companies and the U.S. government to provide additional doses of the vaccine at a not-for-profit price to lower-profit countries, and the number of doses provided for charitable purposes. . Brings the total number. country a billion.

Pfizer said in a press release on Wednesday that under the original agreement, the US government would allocate doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries and 55 African Union member countries. .

The company said deliveries of the initial 500 million doses began in August, and as part of the expanded deal, a total of 1 billion doses are expected to be delivered by the end of September 2022.

The first doses allocated under this program arrived in Rwanda in mid-August and since then more than 30 million doses have been shipped to 22 countries.

Pfizer and BioNTech have an existing agreement to deliver vaccine doses to the COVAX facility, a mechanism established by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation and the World Health Organization, to help poor countries fight COVID-19. To provide early access. 19 tickets.

Meanwhile, developed countries such as the United States and Europe have had a plentiful supply of COVID vaccines, as several vaccine candidates were developed at breakneck speed and emergency use last year ahead of be deployed to the general population as part of large-scale vaccination campaigns. was allowed to.

While most adults in the United States and Europe are now fully vaccinated, millions of people around the world do not have vaccines available that significantly reduce the risk of serious COVID infection, hospitalization and death.

According to CDC data, 64.1% of the population over 12 in the United States is fully vaccinated, while in the UK 81.9% of people over 16 are fully vaccinated, according to the British government. the data shows. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, 71.7% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated.

Our World in Data Statistics notes that 43.5% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, with only 2% of people in low-income countries receiving at least one dose.

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