Oct 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden huddles with Congolese president to discuss Africa vaccine deal

resident Joe Biden (L) and DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi joke during a group photo at the G20 of World Leaders Summit on October 30, 2021

President Biden and Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi laugh during a group photo at the G20 of World Leaders Summit on Oct. 30. Photo: Erin Schaff/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden and Felix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, met Saturday to discuss a deal that would sell up to 110 million COVID vaccine doses to African countries.

Driving the news: The agreement between Moderna and the African Union is intended to help countries that are behind on vaccination targets set by the World Health Organization due to access and availability of vaccines.

  • The U.S. has already shipped 63 million doses of the vaccine to the AU, according to the White House.

The big picture: The White House said Biden and Tshisekedi met on the margins of the Group of 20 summit held in Rome.

  • Africa is the region least vaccinated against COVID-19 in the world, with just over 5% of people fully vaccinated, AP reports.

The two leaders also discussed protecting the Congo Basin rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world. The global goal is to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Go deeper: Moderna to sell African countries up to 110 million COVID vaccine doses

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