Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, and other countries across the continent and beyond that qualify to enjoy support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance will benefit from the final approval of the United States’ commitment to provide Gavi with US$ 4 billion in COVID-19 supplemental funding. These resources, which were included in a larger omnibus funding package, will ensure that lower-income economies have equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, helping to end the acute phase of the pandemic.
In a statement, Gavi said the United States also approved a contribution of US$ 290 million for Fiscal Year 2021 as part of its four-year pledge (2020 to 2023) for Gavi’s core programmes, which will enable Gavi to strengthen routine immunisation in lower-income countries, protecting millions of children from vaccine-preventable diseases. All the funding will be managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“We are enormously grateful to the United States…for this historic funding to support global COVID-19 vaccine access and for their consistent commitment to providing lifesaving vaccines to children around the world,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “If we can ensure greater access to COVID-19 vaccines globally, we will accelerate the end of the pandemic. 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. It will also shorten this crisis, save lives and help restart the global economy. In today’s interconnected world, no one is safe until everyone is safe.”
Gavi is supporting access to COVID-19 vaccines through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC), an innovative financing mechanism that aims to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for 92 lower-income countries and economies. The Gavi COVAX AMC, combined with additional support for country readiness and delivery, will ensure the most vulnerable in all countries can be protected in the short term, regardless of income level. Of the 92 economies eligible for the Gavi COVAX AMC, 86 have so far submitted detailed vaccine requests, demonstrating strong global demand for COVID-19 vaccines via this mechanism.
The US$ 4 billion in supplemental funds and US$ 290 million for Gavi’s core programmes build on the U.S. Government’s role as a foundational and leading supporter of Gavi since its inception in 2000. In addition, Dr. Berkley noted that by building on Gavi’s long-standing reputation as one of the driving forces in global health, this new supplemental contribution from the United States will “help unlock critical assistance from other donors, which the Gavi COVAX AMC needs to put global vaccine production on the right trajectory and to strike a decisive blow against COVID-19.”
Given the wide-ranging impact of COVID-19, Dr. Berkley also urged the United States to consider future COVID-19 resources for other critical global health initiatives heavily impacted by the global pandemic. “We must deploy a full range of tools to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said, “and the many other challenges and disruptions it creates for health systems around the world.”