Johnson & Johnson vaccine vials and syringe

At a virtual summit on Wednesday, President Joe Biden doubled the United States’ pledge to purchase and donate coronavirus vaccine doses.

His announcement brings the country’s total commitment to 1.1 billion doses, more than any other country has promised.

At the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Biden urged wealthy UN members to do the same and supported the World Health Organization’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the world’s population in the next year.

How are other countries handling coronavirus? More than 5.9 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide over the past year, mostly within wealthy nations.

The World Health Organization reported that many low income countries have yet to reach a 2 percent vaccination rate because their governments cannot afford to buy doses. COVAX, a UN program to bring vaccines to developing countries, has missed multiple deadlines.

Only 15 percent of promised donations have reached their target countries.

Biden's pledge comes as both Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer moved toward offering booster shots in the United States. 

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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