US Announces ‘Global VAX’ to Push COVID-19 Vaccination Effort Worldwide COVID-19 07/12/2021 • Editorial team Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) USAID has assisted Sudan with its cold chain storage for COVID-19 vaccines. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has set up a new global initiative to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination efforts, called the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access (Global VAX), the agency announced on Monday Global Vax’s aim according to USAID, is to “get COVID-19 shots into arms and enhance international coordination to identify and rapidly overcome access barriers to save lives now, with a priority on scaling up support to countries in sub-Saharan Africa”. Global VAX will coordinate the US government’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The US government has already committed more than $1.3 billion for vaccine readiness, and USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced an additional $400 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, from the US Congress, to augment this work. “Global VAX includes bolstering cold chain supply and logistics, service delivery, vaccine confidence and demand, human resources, data and analytics, local planning, and vaccine safety and effectiveness,” according to the agency. The announcement was made at a ministerial meeting of key international development partners from around the world, convened by Power. “The emergence of COVID-19 hotspots and variants including Delta and Omicron further underscore the importance of our global fight. Vaccinating the world is the best way to prevent future variants that could threaten the health of Americans and undermine our economic recovery,” according to USAID. Global VAX includes: $315 million to support vaccine delivery and get shots in arms in low and middle-income countries. This investment will support country-specific needs to ramp up vaccination rates and get more shots in arms. These activities include investing in cold chain and supply logistics to safely store and deliver vaccines; supporting national vaccination campaigns; launching mobile vaccination sites for hard-to-reach and rural populations; assisting countries in vaccine policy-making and planning for strategic health care worker and resource deployment; and supporting the development of health information systems to better evaluate vaccine distribution equity and monitor vaccine safety. $10 million to support in-country vaccine manufacturing. This investment will support countries poised to produce vaccines themselves to help them build regulatory capacity, transfer “know-how” to train emerging manufacturers, and provide strategic planning and other assistance. This will enable countries to boost vaccine manufacturing locally, which not only diversifies international production, but also has the potential to drive new investments in local economies and create jobs. This investment strategically complements the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation’s investments to scale regional manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines. $75 million for additional support for USAID’s Rapid Response Surge Support. USAID’s Rapid Response Surge Support delivers life-saving resources to COVID-19 hotspots, or areas experiencing surges in cases. This investment will help strengthen oxygen market systems to improve reliable oxygen production and delivery—often the most critical and in-demand resource needed in communities experiencing COVID-19 surges. Image Credits: USAID. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Combat the infodemic in health information and support health policy reporting from the global South. Our growing network of journalists in Africa, Asia, Geneva and New York connect the dots between regional realities and the big global debates, with evidence-based, open access news and analysis. To make a personal or organisational contribution click here on PayPal.