U.S. Nears Deal for 500 Million Pfizer Doses to Give Abroad

The Biden administration is negotiating with Pfizer Inc. to buy an additional 500 million Covid-19 vaccines to donate globally, a person familiar with the matter said, doubling the government’s commitment to helping less-wealthy countries. 

A deal is expected to be announced in the coming days, ahead of an international Covid summit Biden has called for on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information isn’t yet public.

The Biden administration struck a nearly identical agreement with the company in August, and Pfizer has been shipping those doses to the international vaccine program Covax. The program has been slow to get doses to participant countries, leaving many less-wealthy nations having vaccinated only a tiny percentage of their populations.

“The president has been clear that we will do more and more to help lead the world in getting the world vaccinated,” Jeff Zients, the White House Covid response coordinator, said Sept. 17.

Details of the agreement were reported earlier by the New York Times.