U.S. and COVAX: Vaccinating the world
April 13, 2021
The United States and international partners are working to distribute millions of doses of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world.
According to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, more than 38 million doses of vaccine have already been distributed to dozens of countries through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility.
The United States is currently the largest financial contributor to Gavi in support of the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) to procure and distribute safe and effective vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries.
COVAX, an international partnership dedicated to equitable global access to vaccines, aims to distribute 2 billion doses of vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of 2021. COVAX is coordinated by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken says the United States is committed to working with public and private partners and multilateral institutions to tackle global issues, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“None of us is effectively safe until everyone in the world is vaccinated,” Blinken said in a February 25 interview, noting that the United States is working to vaccinate the world.
The United States contributed $2 billion to COVAX and has pledged an additional $2 billion through 2022. U.S. investments support the COVAX AMC to procure and deliver vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. Health care workers in Kenya, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are among those getting vaccinated as a result of COVAX vaccine deliveries.
Dr. Maxamed Maxamuud Fuje receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Mogadishu on March 16, after Somalia received vaccines from COVAX. (© Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP Images)
The U.S. government is also considering additional opportunities to share doses of vaccine with countries in need, through COVAX or other mechanisms.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said March 18 that the United States was finalizing plans to lend 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Mexico and 1.5 million doses to Canada.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in a March 29 tweet that 1.5 million doses of vaccine had arrived in Mexico from the United States, and that the two countries are increasing joint efforts to combat the coronavirus.
The United States is also seeking to expand global manufacturing capacities to produce more vaccines and other supplies needed to fight COVID-19. The United States is working with India, Australia and Japan, a partnership known as the Quad, to ramp up vaccine production in India. U.S. investments will support production of an extra 1 billion doses of safe and effective vaccine by the end of 2022, and Quad partners will cooperate to strengthen vaccine delivery across the Indo-Pacific.
Support of COVID-19 vaccinations worldwide builds on a long-standing U.S. commitment to global health security. The United States has provided more than $140 billion in global health assistance over the last two decades, including to the groups that make up COVAX, to combat the H1N1 virus, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases.
“This support from the American people will help Gavi procure and deliver COVID-19 vaccine doses for lower-income economies through the Gavi COVAX AMC,” Gavi’s chief executive, Dr. Seth Berkley, said when the U.S. government approved funding for COVAX in December 2020. “It will also shorten this crisis, save lives and help restart the global economy.”