Biden will announce the plan in the near future at an appearance with Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla, according to a report out yesterday in The New York Times.
The two companies today confirmed the news, saying that the U.S. government will purchase at a not-for-profit price 200 million doses in 2021 and 300 million in early 2022. Doses will go to 100 low- and lower-middle-income countries including those in the African Union via the COVAX Facility.
“COVID-19 has impacted everyone, everywhere, and to win the battle against this pandemic, we must ensure expedited access to vaccines for all. I want to thank President Biden for his leadership in protecting the least advantaged of our global neighbors,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a news release
Speaking in England later in the day, Biden said it was the “humanitarian obligation” of the U.S. to provide the vaccine doses.
As COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to fall, Biden has faced growing pressure to provide vaccine doses to regions continuing to battle surges in infections.
When boarding Air Force One earlier in the week, Biden confirmed that his administration was making progress with its global vaccine strategy. While hinting at a forthcoming news announcement, he did not offer further information. (He also had to swat away a cicada.)
Biden has promised to provide 80 million vaccine doses by the end of June.
The U.S. will pay for the COVID-19 doses at cost, according to The New York Times.
The World Health Organization estimates that some 11 billion doses of COVID-19 would be required to beat back the spread of the virus internationally.
This story originally ran June 9, 2021. Updated June 10 with Pfizer and BioNTech confirming the news.