Biden to announce billions in aid for global vaccine effort at G7

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COVAX is a partnership created past year under the World Health Organization to help deliver billions of expensive vaccine doses to countries that can't afford them. The Prime Minister will also call on G7 leaders to support a treaty on pandemic preparedness through the WHO. That funding should go out by the end of the month, the official said.

It has secured deals with vaccine makers to purchase more than 2 billion doses using money donated by wealthier countries, though not all of those vaccines have been authorized for use yet. The company previously reached an agreement to supply COVAX with up to 500 million doses of the vaccine through 2022.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in an interview Thursday with the Financial Times, called on the USA and European nations to allocate up to 5% of current vaccine supplies to developing countries - the kind of vaccine diplomacy that China and Russian Federation have begun deploying. "And we also know the more disease that's out there, the more likely we are to see variants".

Biden administration officials said their focus was also on vaccinating Americans and sought to separate the domestic and worldwide efforts.

Global anxiety over vaccine race: French President Emmanuel Macron in an interview published on Thursday said he was hoping to convince Biden and other G7 leaders to commit to immediately sharing 3 to 5 percent of their vaccine supply with poorer countries.

The World Health Organization on Thursday urged nations with vaccines not to share them unilaterally, but to donate them to the global COVAX scheme to ensure fairness.

Other wealthy nations have also begun reserving large orders of vaccines, leaving poorer nations to rely on the COVAX initiative for their populations - or on countries such as China, India and Russian Federation, who have begun directly donating their state-produced vaccines to other nations.

"This pledge to COVAX does not impact the vaccination program in the United States at all", an official said. So far, World Health Organization has yet to give emergency use authorization to the Russian and Chinese-made vaccines, which have lingering questions about their efficacy rates.A decision on the vaccines produced by China's Sinovac and Sinopharm is expected next month, at the earliest.

The other side: The White House said on Thursday's briefing call that the administration planned to turn to donations only after all US demand was met. The first COVAX doses are expected to begin arriving in dozens of countries next week.

A health worker prepares an injection with a dose of Astra Zeneca coronavirus vaccine, at a vaccination centre in Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, February 18, 2021.

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