US to Support the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment

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TACOMA, Washington — The United States and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, recently partnered to host the “One World Protected” event. The event aimed to launch a new campaign to raise $2 billion in support of the global fight against COVID-19. “One World Protected” supports the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment, a “financing instrument” that aims to provide COVID-19 vaccine access to 92 low-and-middle-income countries. The new fundraising effort comes at a critical time for Gavi. CEO Seth Berkley recently indicated that the global supply of COVID-19 vaccinations is “incredibly tight.”

“One World Protected” and Global COVAX Funding

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the importance of this new campaign as well as the United States’ role in aiding the global vaccine rollout. He did this while co-hosting “One World Protected” along with acting USAID Administrator Gloria Steele and Gavi Board Chair Jose Manuel Barroso.

Blinken spoke about the Biden-Harris administration’s focus on ending the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying it as the administration’s top priority. “To that end, the U.S. government contributed $2 billion to Gavi in support of COVAX in March – the largest donation COVAX has ever received. And we’ll contribute an additional $2 billion to this effort through 2022, because people everywhere should have access to rigorously tested, safe, and effective COVID-19 vaccines,” Blinken said.

While the United States did not provide any new donations as a part of “One World Protected” with Gavi, the event did lead to more than $300 million in new funding and vaccine doses. This included significant contributions from both public and private global leaders such as Google and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Donations From Organizations

The Gates Foundation donated $30 million to match other private donations as part of the Gavi Matching Fund. In addition, Gates Philosophy Partners also mobilized an $18 million donation. These donations have come as the Gates Foundation has introduced the “Go Give One” campaign in conjunction with the World Health Organization. The campaign unites the Foundation, the WHO and other global leaders to help support the COVAX initiative. “Go Give One” aims to encourage small-dollar donations from everyday individuals and groups in a similar manner to past public health support campaigns. It mirrors recent requests from Gavi for individual support to help fund pivotal initiatives.

Similarly, Google announced the launch of a global campaign to encourage its own employees to support Gavi. This announcement came in addition to the company’s $2.5 million direct donation during the event. On top of that, Google is providing Gavi with $15 million in ad credits together with support from the company’s own engineers. This is part of the company’s effort to help combat COVID-19 around the world.

Public Donations

In the public realm, several countries such as Sweden and New Zealand have also provided significant donations. In fact, Sweden provided the largest donation of the event with a more than $250 million pledge to the International Finance Facility for Immunisation. The organization funds Gavi and supports efforts to vaccinate children in developing countries.

Simultaneously, New Zealand also donated actual COVID-19 vaccines for more than 800,000 people according to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. That donation comes at a time when countries with excess vaccines have been increasingly encouraged to donate them to support vaccination efforts in economically developing countries.

The Importance of the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment

Overall, the purpose of “One World Protected” was to help provide support for the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment. The plan hopes to help produce two billion available COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2021. One billion of these initial doses would help vaccinate high-risk people and healthcare workers in developing countries. This distribution would occur at the same time as vaccines would be released to affluent countries. The effort seeks to support all those who need COVID-19 vaccines, including countries that still may not have access to the vaccines.

Essentially, the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment looks to play a central role in ensuring that vaccine supplies are sufficiently scaled to meet the needs of every country that qualifies for aid. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, this effort stands as an incredibly important initiative for world leaders of all kinds to support. The “One World Protected” event appears to have been a significant starting point toward achieving Gavi’s goals and bringing essential aid around the world.

Brett Grega
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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