The United States is likely to distribute 200 million shots this year. (Image: Reuters/Carlos Barria)
The United States President Joe Biden's administration has closed a deal with Pfizer for 500 million doses of its COVID-19 shot, which will be donated to over 90 countries over the next two years.
The United States is likely to distribute 200 million doses this year and another 300 million in the first half of next year to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union, Reuters reported citing sources.
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As per reports, the deal was closed just ahead of Biden's first trip abroad since taking office, an eight-day mission to rebuild trans-Atlantic ties strained during the Trump era and to reframe relations with Russia.
The donations will go through the World Health Organization and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization's (GAVI) COVAX vaccine program that distributes COVID-19 shots to low- and middle-income countries.
Biden is likely to announce the deal on June 10 at the Group of Seven meetings of the world's wealthiest countries in Britain, one of the source told Reuters.
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The report also said that the deal was negotiated over the past four weeks by White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients and the coronavirus task force team.
Meanwhile, Biden triumphantly announced that "the United States is back!" as he kicked off his first overseas tour as US president, urging global collaboration and consensus to rebuild after Covid and reset diplomatic ties after the divisive isolation of the Trump era.
On the way, Biden's national security advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One that the president would kick things off with news of a major vaccine-sharing initiative.
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Doses will be aimed at developing countries, he added, calling the US-led initiative "the right thing to do".
"It's what Americans do in times of need. We were the arsenal of democracy in World War II. We're going to be the arsenal of vaccines," Sullivan added.
The Group of Seven will make a further joint declaration on "a comprehensive plan to help end this pandemic as rapidly as possible", he said.
(With inputs from agencies)Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak