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U.S. will be 'arsenal of vaccines' for the world -Biden

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BIDEN: "America will be the arsenal of vaccines."

President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the U.S. will purchase and donate 500 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to the world's poorest countries, stressing the U.S. would not expect anything in return.

“The United States is providing these half billion doses with no strings attached. No strings attached. Our vaccine donations don’t include pressure for favors, or potential concessions. We’re doing this to save lives.”

Speaking in the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay ahead of a Group of 7 summit, Biden said the donation would "lay the foundation" for other wealthy countries to share vaccines.

"Tomorrow the G7 nations will be announcing the full scope of our commitment. And I want to thank all of my G7 partners for stepping up to recognize our responsibility to meet the moment."

The largest ever vaccine donation by a single country will cost the United States $3.5 billion and raises the pressure on other G7 leaders to help vaccinate the world.

So far, vaccinations have been heavily correlated with wealth - with the U.S., Europe, Israel and Bahrain far ahead of other countries.

A total of 2.2 billion people have been vaccinated so far out of a world population of nearly 8 billion, based on Johns Hopkins University data.

The first batch of vaccine doses - purchased by the U.S. - will be sent out in August, with roughly 200 million doses expected to be delivered by the end of the year.

The remaining 300 million will be delivered in the first half of 2022.

Anti-poverty campaign group Oxfam would like to see wealthy nations contribute even more, adding (quote) "Surely, these 500 million vaccine doses are welcome as they will help more than 250 million people, but that’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the need across the world…..”

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