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US to Donate 500 Million Covid Shots to Dozens of Nations

The Biden administration reportedly plans to buy 500 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for distribution to nearly 100 countries.

WASHINGTON (CN) — President Joe Biden is set to announce a plan to purchase hundreds of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses and send them to countries around the globe, multiple sources reported Wednesday.

Prior to his first foreign trip as president, Biden hinted at the deal in which Pfizer and BioNTech will provide 500 million doses of their Covid-19 vaccine to nearly 100 countries over the next year.

Before setting off to Cornwall, England, on Wednesday to meet with G7 nation leaders, the president was asked if he would be detailing his administration's plan to help vaccinate the world.

“I have one, and I’ll be announcing it,” Biden said.

An initial 200 million vaccines will be distributed in 2021 and another 300 million will go out to vulnerable countries by mid-2022, according to reports from The New York Times and other outlets that spoke to people familiar with the plan. The U.S. government is said to be paying not-for-profit prices for the Pfizer doses.

The doses will be shared through the World Health Organization's global Covax initiative and will go to 92 low-income countries and the African Union.

Biden is expected to announce the plan Thursday in a speech before the start of the G7 summit.

Last week, the president announced another 25 million doses from U.S. reserves would be given to vulnerable populations in the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Those 25 million shots are among the first of what Biden promised would be an 80-million-dose donation from surplus supply, separate from the deal expected to be announced Thursday. America has already sent 4 million doses to border neighbors Canada and Mexico and the president is expected to expand upon the global effort to combat Covid-19 during his visit to Europe this week.

Biden has set a goal of getting at least one shot in the arms of 70% of the U.S. population by July 4. As of last week, 63% of adults have received their first vaccine dose, up only slight from 62% the previous week. Vaccinations have declined since April, which has prompted some state governments to incentivize inoculations with things like free marijuana and lottery entries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, white Americans make up the largest demographic of those who have received at least their first dose, accounting for about 60%. As of Wednesday, of the 97 million people surveyed for demographic information in the past two weeks, about 59.5 million white Americans had received at least their first shot, compared to about 14.2 million of Latinos (14.6% of all partially vaccinated Americans) and 8.8 million Black Americans (9%).

Demographics with the lowest rate of vaccination include Asian Americans, who make up about 6% of all U.S. residents who had have at least one shot, and Native Americans, at 1%.

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