At the G-7 summit in southwest England this week, G-7 nation leaders including Joe Biden came together and pledged to donate at least 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to other countries around the world.
The Associated Press reports that both Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have committed to leading efforts to help out countries struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic, pivoting their efforts to international vaccine distribution as more individuals get vaccinated across the U.S. and the UK. Other G-7 nations—which include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan—will also take part in the efforts. “We’re going to help lead the world out of this pandemic working alongside our global partners," Biden said.
The G-7 Summit meeting comes not long after Biden pledged the U.S. will donate 500 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to other countries. He added that 80 million of those doses, which are U.S.-approved vaccines, will be distributed overseas by the end of June. The U.S. has already donated millions of vaccine doses to both Mexico and Canada.
Through the global COVAX alliance, the United States has committed to giving these 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses to 92 countries and the African Union. The shipments are expected to start being sent in August, with 200 million sent by the end of the year, and the remaining 300 million by the half-way point of 2022.
Johnson, meanwhile, said the UK will share 5 million doses over the next few weeks, with more to come later in the year.
“At the G-7 Summit I hope my fellow leaders will make similar pledges so that, together, we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year and build back better from coronavirus," Johnson said in a statement. French President Emmanuel Macron supported the decision from both nations, and said France will donate at least 30 million doses worldwide before the end of 2021.