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Biden: U.S. will give up to $4 billion for COVID-19 vaccine for poorer countries

Christian Fernsby |
U.S. President Joe Biden told G7 leaders during a virtual summit that the U.S. would contribute up to $4 billion to WHO's COVAX initiative aimed at ensuring equitable access to vaccines around the world.

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Topics: BIDEN    U.S.   

A senior administration official said on Thursday that Mr. Biden's announcement was aimed at least in part at leveraging U.S. partners around the world to bolster their own support for the initiative.

President Biden was committing $2 billion to COVAX up front — which is $2 billion more than the U.S. had offered under his predecessor — and then another $2 billion over the coming two years, provided other nations fulfill their own commitments to the program. Officials said on Thursday that the money was earmarked by Congress in the December 2020 spending bill, so it would have no impact on domestic vaccination efforts in the U.S.

United Nations officials have repeatedly urged rich countries not to leave poorer ones to fend for themselves, and vaccine makers not to base their vaccine distribution on profit margins.

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