Biden administration to purchase 500M vaccine doses for global distribution: Reports

A member of staff poses with a phial of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination health centre on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Cardiff, United Kingdom.
A member of staff poses with a phial of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination health centre on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Photo credit Justin Tallis/Getty Images

The Biden administration is set to buy nearly 500 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for distribution to countries in need around the world, sources familiar with the plan told The Washington Post and The New York Times on Wednesday.

The allotment will go to 100 nations over the next two years.

An announcement is expected as early as Thursday.

When asked about the reported plan before he boarded Air Force One for an overseas trip early Wednesday, the president said: "I have one and I’ll be announcing it." The U.S. will pay for the doses at a "not-for-profit price," according to people close to the preparation.

The first 200 million doses will be distributed this year, with the remaining 300 million doses circulating in 2022.

Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, is reportedly expected to appear with President Biden for the announcement.

The plan comes in response to intensifying pressure on the U.S. to help poorer countries boost their lacking COVID-19 vaccine supply. It’s an issue that will be discussed at this week’s G-7 summit.