Pfizer-BioNTech pledge 2B doses to poor nations

People drink outdoors on bar terraces in Marseille southern France, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Cafe and restaurant terraces reopened Wednesday after a pandemic shutdown of more than six months deprived people of what feels like the essence of life in France. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)People drink outdoors on bar terraces in Marseille southern France, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Cafe and restaurant terraces reopened Wednesday after a pandemic shutdown of more than six months deprived people of what feels like the essence of life in France. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
Nurses march with torches to demand increases in their salary, professional recognition, and better working conditions in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, amid the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Victor R.Caivano)Nurses march with torches to demand increases in their salary, professional recognition, and better working conditions in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, amid the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Victor R.Caivano)
People wearing face masks, wait to walk across a traffic intersection in the famed Ginza shopping neighborhood in Tokyo on Friday, May 21, 2021. Japan has approved the use of two new vaccines - Moderna and AstraZeneca - hours ahead of an expansion of a state of coronavirus emergency that will cover roughly 40% of the population. It’s the latest effort to contain a worrying surge in infections nine weeks ahead of the opening of the Tokyo Olympics.(AP Photo/Hiro Komae)People wearing face masks, wait to walk across a traffic intersection in the famed Ginza shopping neighborhood in Tokyo on Friday, May 21, 2021. Japan has approved the use of two new vaccines - Moderna and AstraZeneca - hours ahead of an expansion of a state of coronavirus emergency that will cover roughly 40% of the population. It’s the latest effort to contain a worrying surge in infections nine weeks ahead of the opening of the Tokyo Olympics.(AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German company BioNTech have pledged to deliver 2 billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to middle- and low-income countries over the next 18 months.

The companies, which together developed the first vaccine to be authorized for use in the United States and Europe, made the announcement Friday at a global health summit in Rome co-hosted by the European Union’s executive arm and Italy.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says they expect to provide a billion of the doses this year and another billion in 2022.

It was unclear whether the deliveries would take place through the U.N.-backed COVAX program, which aims to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 shots for low-and middle-income countries, or if nations would get the doses at a reduced price.

The summit is drawing the Group of 20 industrial and emerging market nations, the heads of international organizations and representatives of global health bodies.

As vaccination campaigns continue to progress in the Western world, poorer countries are struggling to acquire supplies. This week, the U.N. Security Council expressed concern about the small number of doses that have reached Africa.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

lotto max logo
Are you the lucky winner?

A $1 million ticket was bought in Burns Lake for Friday’s Lotto… Continue reading

Jill Mackenzie carefully replaces books on the shelves at the Houston Public Library. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
District approves annual library grant

Craft kits featured for summer reading club

The tradition of Houston Christian School grads giving Bibles to incoming kindergarten students will take place this year, but outdoors and in a modified fashion. (File photo)
Houston Christian School grad day is June 24

Grads themselves have set tone for the day, says teacher

Scott Richmond will be starting as the new vice principal for HSS and TSE. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston gets a new vice principal

Scott Richmond takes over from Dwayne Anderson who moved to Smithers

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

Most Read