Biden WH Won't Share Vaccines Until Most Americans Inoculated

19 Février, 2021, 18:07 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Boris Johnson

The announcement comes as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosts Justin Trudeau and their G7 counterparts for a virtual leaders' summit aimed at bringing renewed momentum to COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Biden will become the first U.S. president to address the Munich meeting, underlining a decisive shift after cooperation was all but broken under his go-it-alone predecessor Donald Trump.

Yet they said no decision had been made on directly donating surplus vaccine doses already purchased by the United States to other countries, which could speed efforts to get the world's population vaccinated.

President Joe Biden at the meeting - his first multilateral engagement since taking office - will announce the U.S.is directing $4 billion Congress allocated to Gavi in December to help procure coronavirus vaccines for poor countries, the senior official said. Biden will also pledge an additional $2 billion in funding contingent on contributions from other nations and dose delivery targets being met.

"It's an unprecedented acceleration of global inequality and it's politically unsustainable too because it's paving the way for a war of influence over vaccines", he told the Financial Times, as Russian Federation and China step up free or low-priced distribution of their own jabs. "We do think it is vital to take a role in beating the pandemic globally". Allowing high numbers of infections to continue across the world is also likely to lead to new virus variants that can threaten to prolong the pandemic for rich and poor countries alike, experts argue.

The COVAX program to vaccinate the poorer countries around the world is expected to cost $15 billion worldwide, $4 billion of which will come from the USA over the next few years, including $500 million right away, per the report.

The federal government has agreed to top up its funding for vaccine rollouts in lower-income countries, pledging $75 million more to the COVAX global vaccine-sharing program as other wealthy countries step up their commitment. Trump declined to participate in the global effort, insisting his focus must be on providing shots to Americans. The Biden administration official on a Thursday background call made clear the priority is vaccinating Americans.

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The US officials said the donations would not interfere with Mr Biden's promise to have enough vaccines available for all Americans who want them by the end of July.

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

The president, in his first national security memorandum last month, called for his administration to develop a framework to donate surplus vaccines once there is a sufficient supply in the U.S. He will be encouraging G7 leaders to increase their funding for COVAX in support of equitable access to vaccines.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, which holds the G-7 presidency this year, is meeting virtually with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and the United States to discuss global challenges - chief among them the pandemic that has killed nearly 2.5 million people around the world.

The Prime Minister has also confirmed today that the United Kingdom will share the majority of any future surplus coronavirus vaccines from our supply with the COVAX procurement pool to support developing countries, in addition to the UK's £548 million funding for the scheme.

"President Biden will also discuss (the) need to make investments to strengthen our collective competitiveness and the importance of updating global rules to tackle economic challenges such as those posed by China", the White House said. "But we are - we watch those actions with concern".

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