The United States will share technologies used to make COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization and is working to expand rapid testing and antiviral treatments for hard-to-reach populations, President Joe Biden said on Thursday.
The U.S. will contribute an additional $200 million to a global health fund for future pandemic preparedness at the World Bank, he said, bringing its total contribution to $450 million.
"We are making available health technologies that are owned by the United States government, including stabilized spike protein that is used in many COVID-19 vaccines," Biden said in his opening speech for the second global COVID-19 summit.
The summit, jointly hosted by the United States, Belize, Germany, Indonesia and Senegal, is being held virtually on Thursday for countries to discuss efforts to end the pandemic and prepare for future health threats.
It is set to build on efforts and commitments made at the first global summit in September, including getting more people vaccinated, sending tests and treatments to highest-risk populations, expanding protections to health-care workers, and generating financing for pandemic preparedness.
At least 14 other countries - Canada, Colombia, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Rwanda, South Africa, South Korea, Spain and Tanzania - as well as the World Health Organization, European Commission, private-sector companies like Google GOOGL.O, and non-governmental organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are attending the summit.
"This summit is an opportunity to renew our efforts, to keep our foot on the gas when it comes to getting this pandemic under control and preventing future health crises," Biden said.
He called on world leaders to consider how their countries could contribute further to the global pandemic response.
"That is why I continue to call on Congress here at home to take the urgent action to provide emergency COVID-19 funding that is vital to make sure that we maintain our supplies of COVID-19 test, treatments, and vaccines, including next generation vaccines that are being developed," he said.
"The request also includes $5 million to keep up our global partnership in the fight against COVID-19, to sustain our efforts to get shots in people's arms all around the world."