Biden: U.S. to purchase half a billion vaccine doses for lower income countries

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's pledge to donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer (PFE.N) coronavirus vaccine to the world's poorest countries, during a visit to St. Ives in Cornwall, Britain, June 10, 2021. REUTERS/ Kevin Lamarque

CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) - The United States will purchase half a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses for lower income countries with no strings attached, U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

"Half a billion vaccines will start to be shipped in August, as quickly as they roll off the manufacturing line," Biden said at a news conference before the G7 summit in Britain.

"The United States is providing these half billion doses, with no strings attached. No strings attached. Our vaccine donations don't include pressure for favours, or potential concessions. We're doing this to save lives."

Biden vowed that America would be the arsenal of vaccines in the fight against global COVID-19. "Just as America was the arsenal of democracy during World War Two."

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Guy Faulconbridge, writing by William James, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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