US President Biden Pledges $4 Billion For Global COVID-19 Vaccine Program

The US White House will announce plans to immediately grant US$2 billion to the international Covax programme

(CNN)President Joe Biden will unveil a $2 billion USA contribution to a global coronavirus vaccine initiative when he speaks with the leaders of the world's leading market economies on Friday, according to senior administration officials, boosting efforts to distribute shots to low- and middle-income countries as wealthier nations snap up the limited supply.

In addition to Friday's pledge, Biden will deliver a virtual address to the Munich Security Conference and travel to Pfizer's vaccine manufacturing facility in the USA state of MI.

There has been pressure on Biden to donate a percentage of the USA vaccine allotment to poorer countries, including from France's Emmanuel Macron.

"This pandemic is not going to end unless we end it globally", a senior administration official said. Trump declined to participate in the global effort, insisting his focus must be on providing shots to Americans.

He said the vaccine will be used to start a public vaccination programme for people above the age of 60. But while there are expected to be enough vaccines available to inoculate every American by summer's end, many countries may need to wait years for enough doses for their populations.

Vietnam has four domestic Covid-19 vaccines under development by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1 and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.

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The Biden administration will not share USA -purchased coronavirus vaccine doses with poorer countries until most Americans are vaccinated, officials told Politico on Thursday.

The global aid organization UNICEF has said countries that have vaccinated their own health workers and populations at highest risk of severe disease should share vaccine doses with other countries so they can do the same.

"It called for more work on setting up systems to manage the logistics and supply chain for vaccines, reaching refugees, migrants and internally displaced people and financing national vaccination campaigns", said the statement.

Dr Moeti briefed Health Ministers on the region's overall state of readiness for Africa's largest-ever immunisation drive, planned vaccines delivery dates and next steps, including documentation required by COVAX related to regulatory readiness, indemnity and liability agreements so vaccine manufacturers can schedule shipment dates.

"We also call on our G7 and other partners to work alongside Gavi, to bring in billions more in resources to support global COVID-19 vaccination, and to target urgent vaccine manufacturing, supply, and delivery needs", the White House said.

The analysis found that, along with other COVID vaccine supplies procured by the global COVAX vaccine-sharing plan and in bilateral deals, the excess rich-country doses would go a long way to protecting vulnerable people in poorer countries. "But we are - we watch those actions with concern".

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