Wealthy countries urged to ‘step up’ on vaccines

President Biden called on other high-income countries to “step up” their efforts to vaccinate the world against the coronavirus during the White House’s COVID-19 summit Wednesday, pointing to new steps the U.S. is taking on the global vaccination push.

What he said: “The United States is leading the world on vaccination donations,” Biden said as he opened the virtual summit. “As we’re doing that, we need other high-income countries to deliver on their own ambitious vaccine donations and pledges.”

“The only way to get this done is for everyone, everywhere, is for all of us, to step up, which I’m confident you will,” Biden told the group.

New dose donation: The president pointed to a U.S. donation announced earlier Wednesday of 500 million more Pfizer vaccine doses to the world, coming next year, bringing the total U.S. pledged donation to more than 1.1 billion doses.

Advocates push for more: Max Hadler, senior policy expert at Physicians for Human Rights, said in a statement Wednesday that vaccine “donations alone will be insufficient without high-income countries pushing pharmaceutical companies to share vaccine know-how.”