Statement by Mercy Corps CEO Tjada D’Oyen McKenna on the Biden Administration’s Purchase of 500 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to Donate Globally

“The purchase of 500 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses on top of 80 million doses already committed shows the Biden Administration is walking the walk when it comes to leading efforts to boost vaccine access for the entire world. Just months ago, U.S. leadership was nowhere to be seen as the glaring gaps between vaccine haves and have-nots came starkly into focus. 

Today high-income countries have administered almost 44% of the world's doses while low-income countries have administered just 0.4%. At this week’s G7 summit, other high-income countries should follow President Biden’s lead and continue stepping up donations of doses and work together to solve production and supply challenges to help source the 11 billion vaccines needed worldwide. 

I’m thrilled to see these vaccines will go to mostly lower-income countries through COVAX, which is the right distribution mechanism to achieve equitable distribution and ensure lifesaving tools like vaccines do not become the political bargaining chip of the 21st century. ”