Biden to pledge $4 billion to COVAX vaccine program at G7 meeting Friday

A South African health worker holds doses of the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the Khayelitsha Hospital near Cape Town, South Africa, February 17, 2021. Gianluigi Guercia/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) – The Biden administration will pledge $4 billion to a vaccination program for poorer countries at a global economic summit on Friday in hopes that other countries will follow suit and contribute additional funds, U.S. officials said on a Thursday press call.

At a meeting of the Group of Seven nations, a summit for the world’s largest economies, the White House will announce plans to immediately grant $2 billion to the international COVAX program, which aims to ensure a fair supply of coronavirus vaccines around the world, officials said.

The United States will supply the remaining $2 billion over the next two years as other nations fulfill their own pledges, the officials said. The funding was approved by Congress earlier this month.

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