Pfizer and BioNTech are planning to give another 500 million doses of the groups’ COVID-19 vaccine to the United States, which then plan to donate the shots to other countries with fewer resources.
As reported by CNBC, the effort was announced on Wednesday and is “an expansion of the companies’ agreement with the U.S. government to provide extra doses at a not-for-profit price for less-advantaged nations,” bringing the complete amount of doses to be given to the countries up to 1 billion.
The outlet added:
In line with the initial agreement, the U.S. government will allocate doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries and the 55 member states of the African Union, Pfizer said Wednesday.
Deliveries of the initial 500 million doses began in August, and the 1 billion total under the expanded agreement are expected to be delivered by the end of next September, the company added.
The Biden administration was dealt a blow to its booster shot effort last week, precipitating this announcement.
The administration was pushing the idea of booster shots, but an advisory panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chose not to recommend widespread booster shots for people who previously got a COVID-19 vaccine.
“The vote — the first on boosters in the United States — was a blow to the Biden administration’s strategy to make extra shots available to most fully vaccinated adults in the United States eight months after they received a second dose,” The New York Times reported. “The broader rollout was to start next week.”
As The Daily Wire reported, “The committee of experts voted 16-2 against giving Pfizer booster shots to people 16 and older, and only endorsed giving the booster shots to ‘people who are 65 or older or at high risk of severe Covid-19, and received their second dose at least six months ago,’ the report added.”
“It’s likely beneficial, in my opinion, for the elderly, and may eventually be indicated for the general population,” said Dr. Ofer Levy, a vaccine and infectious disease specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital. “I just don’t think we’re there yet in terms of the data.”
Levy added, “We all agree that if we really want to impact this pandemic, we need to vaccinate the unvaccinated.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) previously pushed back against the idea of booster shots, citing the need for other countries to be prioritized to get the shots before citizens of wealthier countries were given additional doses.
Earlier this month, the WHO extended its request for a moratorium on COVID-19 booster shots until the end of this year.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the group asked for countries to not roll out additional doses until the end of September so that other countries can get the shots that have not had as much access to them.
“There has been little change in the global situation since then, so today I am calling for an extension of the moratorium until at least the end of the year to enable every country to vaccinate at least 40% of its population,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing earlier this month, per CNBC.
“I will not stay silent when the companies and countries that control the global supply of vaccines think the world’s poor should be satisfied with leftovers,” Tedros said at the time.
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