The US will purchase 500 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to donate to nearly 100 low- and lower-middle-income nations in their fight against the virus, President Joe Biden announced Thursday.
"That's a historic step, the largest single purchase and donation of COVID-19 vaccines, by any single country ever," Biden said in remarks from St. Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom.
He said the donation "will supercharge the global fight" against the pandemic.
The president said the vaccines will start to be shipped in August, of which 200 million doses will be delivered this year and 300 million in the first half of 2022.
"The United States is providing these half million doses, with no strings attached. Let me say it again, with no strings attached. Our vaccine donations don't include pressure for favors or potential concessions.
"We're doing this to save lives to end this pandemic. That's it, period," said Biden.
Last week, Biden said the US would donate 75% of unused COVID-19 vaccines to the UN's COVAX global vaccine sharing program.
The administration announced its framework for sharing at least 80 million vaccine doses globally by the end of June and the plan for the first 25 million doses, according to the White House.
COVAX aims to deliver 2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.