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US Pledges 500 Mln Doses Of COVID Vaccine To Poorer Countries

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To help supercharge the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the United States will purchase and donate half a billion Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to 92 low, and lower middle-income countries and the African Union.

President Joe Biden, who is in England as part of his high-profile European tour, will make the historic announcement Thursday, the White House said.

This is the largest-ever purchase and donation of vaccines by a country to help protect people around the world from the pandemic.

President Biden will also call on the world's democracies to do their parts 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, the White House said.

It did not specify where will Biden make the announcement.

Biden, who landed at Cornwall Airport with his wife Jill Biden Wednesday night for a week-long European tour, is set to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday.

A three-day summit of the G-7 leaders will kick off on Friday.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One en route Suffolk, England, that the G-Seven summit will make a further joint declaration on "a comprehensive plan to help end this pandemic as rapidly as possible".

The vaccines will start shipping in August. 200 million doses will be delivered by the end of this year and the remaining 300 million will be delivered in the first half of 2022.

Pfizer plans to produce these half a billion doses at their facilities in Kalamazoo, Michigan; McPherson, Kansas; Chesterfield, Missouri; and Andover, Massachusetts.

The United States is using the manufacturing strength of the pharmaceutical company to help vaccinate the world after 64 percent of adult Americans have received at least one shot of COVID vaccine in just four and a half months, and the country's daily death rates have fallen sharply.

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