U.S set to make single largest donation of 500 million COVID-19 vaccines

Americans to pocket over Ksh.153k in Biden’s Ksh208 trillion COVID relief package

The United States President, Joe Biden is set to announce the donation of 500 million COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low and lower middle-income countries and the African Union (AU).

The donation, which is the largest donation of vaccines by a single nation so far, will be provided by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech.

Shipping of the vaccines will begin in August 2021 with 200 million doses to be delivered by the end of the year and the remaining 300 million to be delivered in the first half of 2022 through the COVAX facility.

President Biden is expected to make this announcement in England, where he is meeting with leaders of the other advanced economies including host Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. 

The eight-day trip, aimed at rebuilding ties with other nations, will be his first overseas trip since taking over from his predecessor Donald Trump.

A statement from the White House said, “President Biden will also call on the world’s democracies to do their part in contributing to the global supply of safe and effective vaccines. The goal of today’s donation is to save lives and end the pandemic and will provide the foundation for additional actions to be announced in the coming days.”

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Last month, President Biden reaffirmed his commitment to leading an international and coordinated vaccination effort, announcing that the U.S. would donate 80 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines by the end of June.

This followed calls for the advanced economies to chip in and help with the distribution of the vaccines to poorer countries.

The U.S. has had a successful vaccination process domestically as 64 percent of adult Americans have received at least one shot in just four and a half months. Daily death rates have dropped significantly, and the economy is rebounding.

The donations will provide novel messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines that have proven to be highly effective against COVID-19, including against known variants.

New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that the mRNA vaccine reduces the risks of COVID-19 infection by 91 percent in people who are fully vaccinated.

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