WHO urges wealthy nations donate to Covax initiative to ensure fairness

Video US President Joe Biden

Senior administration officials said that half of the money, which was approved by Congress in December, will be provided this month to COVAX, an global partnership for acquiring and distributing vaccines to low-income countries.

Other countries, including Russian Federation and China, have begun making their own direct donations to countries of their state-funded vaccines, which the White House has said previously it is watching with concern.

Johnson & Johnson said on Friday that it had submitted data to the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use listing of its COVID-19 vaccine, which would allow for wider access to the one-dose shot.

To date, a fraction of the doses purchased by governments have been administered, even in wealthy countries.

COVAX hopes to provide vaccinations to at least 20% of the population in 92 of the world's poorest countries by the end of this year.

The COVID-19 vaccine candidate of Novavax is being studied in two ongoing pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials: in the United States and Mexico, as well as in the United Kingdom. "It helps us close in on our goal of delivering two billion doses in 2021 and increases the range of vaccines available to us as we build a portfolio suitable for all settings and contexts".

Despite South Africa experiencing problems with the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, including asking the Indian manufacturer to take back around one million doses, authorities in Botswana say they are open to rolling out the drug as part of its COVID-19 control strategy.

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That is likely to mean the U.S. will have ample surplus doses that could be donated to poorer nations.

In addition to discussing vaccine distribution, Biden also plans to use the meeting to discuss G7 countries' collective competitiveness and economic challenges posed by China, according to the White House.

US officials, speaking to journalists on condition of anonymity ahead of the call, said that President Joe Biden would announce a total of $4 billion in funding for COVAX but that the country did not plan to share any of its doses with other nations until its domestic vaccination needs were met.

The Biden administration will not share US -purchased coronavirus vaccine doses with poorer countries until most Americans are vaccinated, officials told Politico on Thursday.

The president, in his first national security memorandum last month, called for his administration to develop a framework to donate surplus vaccines once there is a sufficient supply in the US.

Countries need to cooperate in implementing effective pandemic response and vaccination strategies, treating Covid-19 vaccines as a mutual asset of the worldwide community, ensuring affordable vaccines for all and giving priority to groups at high risk of infection and those on the front lines in the fight against the pandemic, the deputy PM, who is also Vietnam's Foreign Affairs Minister, said as he attended an online meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday. The "majority" of any future United Kingdom surplus coronavirus vaccines will be shared with the World Health Organization-backed Covax program, Johnson's office said late Thursday in a statement.

He has since vowed to return the USA to the world stage and reclaim its leadership role that was forsaken by Trump as he had sought to pursue an America-first agenda.

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