UNITED STATES NEWS

G-7 nations expected to pledge 1B vaccine doses for world

Jun 10, 2021, 7:30 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2021, 12:21 am
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden (not...

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden (not pictured) ahead of the G7 summit, at Carbis Bay Hotel, Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, Thursday June 10, 2021. (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP)

(Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP)

ST. IVES, England (AP) — The Group of Seven nations are set to commit to sharing at least 1 billion coronavirus shots with the world, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Thursday, with half coming from the U.S. and 100 million from the U.K. as President Joe Biden urged allies to join in speeding the pandemic’s end and bolstering the strategic position of the world’s wealthiest democracies.

Johnson’s announcement on the eve of the G-7 leaders’ summit in England came hours after Biden committed to donating 500 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and previewed a coordinated effort by the advanced economies to make vaccination widely and speedily available everywhere.

“We’re going to help lead the world out of this pandemic working alongside our global partners,” Biden said, adding that on Friday the G-7 nations would join the U.S. in outlining their vaccine donation commitments. The G-7 also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

The prime minister’s office said the first 5 million U.K. doses would be shared in the coming weeks, with the remainder coming over the next year. Biden’s own commitment was on top of the 80 million doses he has already pledged to donate by the end of June.

“At the G7 Summit I hope my fellow leaders will make similar pledges so that, together, we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year and build back better from coronavirus,” Johnson said in a statement referencing the U.S. president’s campaign slogan.

Earlier Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the U.S. commitment and said Europe should do the same. He said France would share at least 30 million doses globally by year’s end.

“I think the European Union needs to have at least the same level of ambition as the United States,” he said at a news conference. He added that time was of the essence, saying, “It’s almost more important to say how many (doses) we deliver the next month than making promises to be fulfilled in 18 months from now.”

The G-7 leaders have faced mounting pressure to outline their global vaccine sharing plans, especially as inequities in supply around the world have become more pronounced. In the U.S., there is a large vaccine stockpile and the demand for shots has dropped precipitously in recent weeks.

Biden predicted the U.S. doses and the overall G-7 commitment would “supercharge” the global vaccination campaign, adding that the U.S. doses come with no strings attached.

“Our vaccine donations don’t include pressure for favors or potential concessions,” Biden said. “We’re doing this to save lives, to end this pandemic, that’s it.”

He added: “Our values call on us to do everything that we can to vaccinate the world against COVID-19.´´

The U.S. commitment is to buy and donate 500 million Pfizer doses for distribution through the global COVAX alliance to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union, bringing the first steady supply of mRNA vaccine to the countries that need it most.

The Pfizer agreement came together with some urgency in the last four weeks at Biden’s direction, said a senior White House official, both to meet critical needs overseas and to be ready for announcement at the G-7. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal plans, added that the Biden administration was to apply the same wartime posture applied to the vaccine rollout in the U.S. to its effort to share vaccines globally.

Biden said the 500 million U.S.-manufactured vaccines will be shipped starting in August, with the goal of distributing 200 million by the end of the year. The remaining 300 million doses would be shipped in the first half of 2022. A price tag for the doses was not released, but the U.S. is now set to be COVAX’s largest vaccine donor in addition to its single largest funder with a $4 billion commitment.

The well-funded global alliance has faced a slow start to its vaccination campaign, as richer nations have locked up billions of doses through contracts directly with drug manufacturers. Biden’s move, officials said, was meant to ensure a substantial amount of manufacturing capacity remains open to the wealthy nations. Just last month, the European Commission signed an agreement to purchase as many as 1.8 billion Pfizer doses in the next two years, a significant share of the company’s upcoming production — though the bloc reserved the right to donate some of its doses to COVAX.

COVAX has distributed just 81 million doses globally and parts of the world, particularly in Africa, remain vaccine deserts.

White House officials said the ramped-up distribution program fits a theme Biden plans to hit frequently during his week in Europe: that Western democracies, and not authoritarian states, can deliver the most good for the world.

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Wednesday that G-7 leaders are “converging” around the idea that vaccine supply can be increased in several ways, including by countries sharing more of their own doses, helping to increase global manufacturing capacity and doing more across the “chain of custody” from when the vaccine is produced to when it is injected into someone in the developing world.

Biden, in his remarks, harked back to the Detroit-area workers who 80 years ago built tanks and planes “that helped defeat the threat of global fascism in World War II.”

“They built what became known as the arsenal of democracy,” Biden said. “Now a new generation of American men and women, working with today’s latest technology, is going to build a new arsenal to defeat the current enemy of world peace, health and stability: COVID-19.”

He noted that Pfizer’s main COVID-19 vaccine plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is not far from Detroit.

Last week, the White House unveiled plans to donate an initial allotment of 25 million doses of surplus vaccine overseas, mostly through the World Health Organization-backed COVAX program, promising infusions for South and Central America, Asia, Africa and others.

Officials say a quarter of that excess will be kept in reserve for emergencies and for the U.S. to share directly with allies and partners, including South Korea, Taiwan and Ukraine. Johnson said the U.K. would follow a similar model with its doses, holding 20% in reserve for bilateral agreements but sending the vast majority to COVAX.

China and Russia have shared their domestically produced vaccines with some needy countries, often with hidden strings attached. Sullivan said Biden “does want to show — rallying the rest of the world’s democracies — that democracies are the countries that can best deliver solutions for people everywhere.”

The U.S.-produced mRNA vaccines have also proven to be more effective against both the original strain and more dangerous variants of COVID-19 than the more conventional vaccines produced by China and Russia. Some countries that have had success in deploying those conventional vaccines have nonetheless seen cases spike.

___

Miller reported from Washington. Lawless reported from Falmouth, England. AP writer Sylvie Corbet in Paris and Jonathan Lemire in Plymouth, England, contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

United States News

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaks during an interview with The Associated Pr...
Associated Press

Mahathir expects early polls, ruling party gains in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad expects Malaysia’s graft-tainted ruling party will hold general elections in coming months — and could win big — but the nonagenarian reformer vowed Friday that he would fight “even a losing battle” on principle. In an wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, Mahathir described President […]
2 hours ago
A person wearing a protective mask walks in front of an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikk...
Associated Press

Asian markets mixed after Wall St gains on jobs data

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mixed Friday after Wall Street rose as investors analyzed conflicting economic signals ahead of a Federal Reserve conference next week. Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul declined while Hong Kong advanced. Oil prices edged lower but stayed above $90 per barrel. Wall Street rebounded after corporate results and fewer unemployment […]
1 day ago
Mosquito Joe lead technician Damien Ysasi sprays a mixture of essential oil insecticides in a yard ...
Associated Press

Backyard mosquito spraying booms, but may be too deadly

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — It’s an increasingly familiar sight in U.S. cities and suburbs: A van pulls up to the curb. Workers wearing gloves, masks and other protective gear strap on backpack-type mechanisms with plastic hoses, similar to leaf blowers. Revving up the motors, they drench trees, bushes and even house walls with pesticides […]
1 day ago
New home construction encroaches dormant fields owned by Kelly Anderson, left, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2...
Associated Press

Crisis looms without big cuts to over-tapped Colorado River

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Hydroelectric turbines may stop turning. Las Vegas and Phoenix may be forced to restrict water usage or growth. Farmers might cease growing some crops, leaving fields of lettuce and melons to turn to dust. Those are a few of the dire consequences that could result if states, cities and farms […]
1 day ago
FILE - The healthcare.gov website is seen, on Dec. 14, 2021 in Fort Washington, Md. Millions of peo...
Associated Press

Biden bill to help millions escape higher health care costs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of people in the United States will be spared from big increases in health care costs next year after President Joe Biden signed legislation extending generous subsidies for those who buy plans through federal and state marketplaces. The sweeping climate, tax and health care bill sets aside $70 billion over the […]
1 day ago
FILE - Iran's delegates look at each other while U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken addresse...
Associated Press

Iran deal tantalizingly close but US faces new hurdles

WASHINGTON (AP) — Last week’s attack on author Salman Rushdie and the indictment of an Iranian national for plotting to murder former national security adviser John Bolton have given the Biden administration new headaches as it attempts to negotiate a return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. A resolution may be tantalizingly close. But […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
G-7 nations expected to pledge 1B vaccine doses for world