He also made official his administration’s plan to purchase another 500 million vaccine doses to distribute to some of the world’s poorest nations. News of the additional supply trickled out earlier this week, and will bring the United States’ total commitment to 1.1 billion doses.
“Put another way, for every one shot we’ve administered to date in America, we have now committed to do three shots to the rest of the world,” Biden said at the summit.
Biden also pledged that the U.S. will provide an additional $370 million “to support administering these shots and delivery globally,” as well as more than $380 million to Gavi, the organization overseeing the daily operations for the COVAX vaccination project.
Biden also urged those assembled Wednesday to make sure they follow through on their vaccine commitments.
Out of the 870 million vaccine doses countries pledged to donate at the G-7 this summer, only 15 percent have been shipped so far.
The European Union has so far committed to donate 450 million doses by mid-next year. Almost half of that should be shipped by the end of the year, but the bloc is lagging far behind with only 28 million doses shipped so far.
Last week Bruce Aylward, the top WHO official working on COVAX, said the world needs 2.4 billion additional doses to go into low-income countries in order for them to get 40 percent of their populations vaccinated by the end of 2021.
Biden also proposed another confab sometime “in the first quarter of 2022” to assess their progress.
Carmen Paun contributed to this report