World leaders, meeting virtually Thursday, committed an additional $3.2 billion in support to address the challenge of COVID and renewed their commitments to fighting the pandemic at the Global COVID-19 Summit.
President Biden reminded participating leaders that the United States had just reached the grim milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID 19. “We’re at a new stage in fighting this pandemic,” Biden said. “We have to double down on our efforts to … get shots in people’s arms, country by country, community by community; ensure we have reliable and predictable supplies of vaccines and boosters for everyone, everywhere; expand access globally to tests and treatments; and we have to prevent complacency.”
The $3.2 billion in support pledged for the summit is “above and beyond pledges made to date in 2022. This includes nearly $2.5 billion for COVID-19 and related response activities and $712 million in new commitments toward a new pandemic preparedness and global health security fund at the World Bank,” according to the White House.
“In 2021 alone, companies produced more than 11 billion doses of COVID vaccines, enough to give two shots to every adult on the planet. We anticipate that number jumping to 18.6 billion by the end of this year,” Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, BIO President and CEO said in a statement released in reaction to the Summit.
Dr. McMurry-Heath noted that work is still needed “to help overcome global vaccine hesitancy and to ensure countries around the globe have the health care infrastructure they need to get more shots in arms.”
She added: “BIO is encouraged by the recommitment of global leaders, including the United States, to strengthen COVID-19 response efforts. The scientists within the life sciences industry stand ready, once again, to help achieve this critical goal of increasing access to vaccines and therapeutics.”