Protesters block Second Avenue, near the United Nations headquarters in New York, this Monday.JUSTIN LANE / EFE
The United States announced Tuesday that it will donate another 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech coronavirus vaccine to countries with fewer resources. The major commitment has been the starting stone of the virtual vaccination summit that President Joe Biden convened with world leaders, in parallel to the UN General Assembly, which is held in New York. The Democratic president has pressured his peers to meet the "ambitious goal" of having 70% of the population of their respective countries vaccinated by September 2022.
"To beat the pandemic here [the United States], we have to beat it everywhere," Biden said this morning in his inaugural address.
"We need other high-income countries to fulfill their own donations and promises of vaccines," added the US president, who called on rich countries to commit to distributing doses "without political ties" and free.
So far, only 15% of the donations to which countries with access to large quantities of vaccines have committed have been delivered, according to the World Health Organization.
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With the announcement of the purchase and distribution of another 500 million vaccines, Washington raises the vaccine donation commitment to more than 1.1 billion doses in total. "In other words, for every injection we give in the United States, we have now committed to doing three injections in the rest of the world," Biden said. So far, the world power has donated around 160 million vaccines to more than a hundred countries, which represents more donations than all those made jointly by the rest of the countries.
The Biden Administration has been harshly criticized by international bodies in its efforts to provide a booster dose to the general healthy population of the United States, when the vast majority of people in poor countries have not yet received their first shot. The WHO has been strongly against the third dose and an advisory panel from the FDA, the US drug regulatory agency, also strongly rejected the idea last week. However, the White House insists that it is equipped to execute both plans: third doses and donations.
Less than 10% of the population of poor countries, and less than 4% of the African population, have received the complete guideline against covid.
For its part, in the United States, almost 64% of the entire eligible population has received at least one puncture and about 55% is fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for its acronym). in English).
Biden said that the US, in partnership with India, Japan and Australia, will produce "at least one billion doses of vaccines in India to boost global supply by the end of 2022."
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