U.S. to donate 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses globally -source

FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 file photo, frozen vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are taken out to thaw, at the MontLegia CHC hospital in Liege, Belgium. The U.S. will buy 500 million more doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to share through the COVAX alliance for donation to 92 lower income countries and the African Union over the next year, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. President Joe Biden was set to make the announcement Thursday in a speech before the start of Group of Seven summit. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

(WASHINGTON) — The Biden administration plans to donate 500 million Pfizer coronavirus vaccine doses to about 100 countries over the next two years, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, and the Associated Press.

FILE PHOTO: A vial and syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The United States will purchase 200 million shots this year and 300 million in the first half of next year, the person said. It will donate them to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union, the person added.

The donations will go through the COVAX vaccine facility that distributes COVID-19 shots to low- and middle-income countries and is backed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

U.S. President Joe Biden will announce the plans as soon as Thursday, the person said. Biden was headed on Wednesday to Britain for the Group of Seven meeting of the world’s wealthiest countries.