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COVID-19: U.S commits $2bn to vaccine drive in Nigeria, others

The United States of America has made a commitment to boost the global response to COVID- 19 pandemic with an additional $2 billion funds donation to GAVI vaccine alliance in support of COVAX. U.S. Secretary of State,

 

Anthony Blinken, in a press briefing on Thursday, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been reengaged to further boost ongoing research as well as development and support of global distribution of safe and effective vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

 

In addition, international partners have been equally engaged primarily to expand international manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines. Reiterating the position of President of the U.S., Joe Biden of the support towards multilateral approaches in addressing global challenges, especially the pandemic, and to forestall further, detect and respond to public threats, he noted that the U.S would partner with the UK-led G7 to beat COVID-19 and build back better.

 

According to him, President Biden has launched an ambitious effort with the G7 to support resilience and development globally by investing in high-quality, highstandard, physical, digital health infrastructure, which includes the B3W, or Build Back Better World. He said: “None of us face this threat alone, which is why the United States— through USAID—is leading the world as the largest single donor to Gavi, the vaccine alliance, in support of COVAX.

 

“The U.S. government made an initial $2 billion contribution to Gavi in March 2021 and plans to contribute an additional $2 billion to Gavi through 2022. On April 15, 2021, the United States cohosted with Gavi the One World Protected virtual pledge event, which raised nearly $400 million in new commitments in support of the COVAX Advance Market Commitment.

These new resources will support additional procurement and equitable distribution of WHO-authorized, safe and effective vaccines to low and middle-income countries.

 

“Additionally, under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the U.S. government is spending nearly $11 billion in foreign assistance to fight COVID-19, address secondary impacts of the pandemic, and strengthen the global health security architecture.

 

“Since the onset of the pandemic, the technical expertise, critical infrastructure, and whole-of-government approach created through Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) partnerships have bolstered preparedness to rapidly respond to COVID-19 in partner countries. ”

 

Through the UK-led G7, we will join forces to beat COVID- 19 and build back better. Drawing on our strengths and values as democratic and open economies and societies, we will work together and with others to make 2021 a turning point and to shape a recovery that promotes the health and prosperity of our people and planet.”

 

Blinken further noted: “In working to strengthen the WHO and support its leading and coordinating role, we will: accelerate global vaccine development and deployment; work with industry to increase manufacturing capacity, including through voluntary licensing; improve information, data, and sample sharing, including sequencing new variants; promote transparent and responsible practices; and bolster vaccine confidence.”

 

The U.S Secretary of State urged WHO and foreign governments to ensure they rigorously assess all vaccines for safety, efficacy, and good manufacturing practices before, during, and after deployment.

 

Meanwhile, the daily testing capacity in African countries have risen astronomically from 13,200 to 105,000 due to the massive establishment of laboratories to speed up test for coronavirus with support from the African Development Bank (AFDB

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