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

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine still under review by the United States health regulator is already being rolled out in South Africa

The regular 2020 annual leaders' summit, which was to have been hosted by former US president Donald Trump, was ultimately scrapped as America battled with a surging death count due to COVID-19.

On his first day in office, Biden announced that the USA will rejoin the Paris Agreement and the WHO. The money has already been appropriated by Congress.

The committed to working through COVAX to ensure 'equitable distribution of vaccines and funding globally, ' White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday.

It has secured deals with vaccine makers to purchase more than 2 billion doses using money donated by wealthier countries, though not all of those vaccines have been authorized for use yet.

He said he will share surplus vaccines with poorer nations, encourage other G7 nations to do the same, and call for help to develop vaccines faster.

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

Canada has been getting all its Pfizer doses from a company facility in Puurs, Belgium, and has experienced disruptions in supply.

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.

The COVAX program has already missed its own goal of beginning coronavirus vaccinations in poor countries at the same time that shots were rolled out in rich countries.

It had fallen short of its funding targets, but the $2 billion offered by the United States will make up significant ground.

"When we have a sufficient supply it is our intention to consider donating surplus vaccines, absolutely", said one official.

The J&J vaccine is administered in a single dose and can be stored at normal fridge temperatures, a big selling point in countries with relatively weaker healthcare infrastructure.

J&J entered into an agreement in December in support of the Covax programme. The Prime Minister will also call on G7 leaders to support a treaty on pandemic preparedness through the WHO.

Johnson, who himself became seriously ill after contracting COVID-19 last year, is using Britain's presidency of the G7 this year to drive a health plan that would enable the speedy creation of new vaccines to combat other deadly diseases and pandemics that might emerge in the future.

Last week, the White House said it was wary of those efforts.

Biden is also scheduled to deliver a virtual address to the Munich Security Conference on Friday before traveling to MI to visit Pfizer's vaccine manufacturing facility.



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