The Assistant Administrator for Global Health at the United States Agency for International Development, (USAID), Dr. Atul Gawande has announced that the United States’ government will surge resources to Nigeria through the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access (Global VAX). The U.S. government effort aims to increaseCOVID-19 vaccination rates.
Global VAX augments the U.S. government’s international vaccine support in Nigeria; the U.S. is the largest donor to COVAX and already has supplied over 21.7 million doses to Nigeria as well as technical and logistical support. Since 2020, the United States has provided $143 million to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 response.
Dr. Gawande told the Abuja Ports to Arms Conference that, “the Nigerian government has shown its commitment to increasing the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, and we are proud to partner with it as the United States launches this important initiative to boost global vaccination rates.
“We are calling on other countries to engage further and contribute expertise and resources to identify and rapidly overcome vaccine access barriers experienced by communities around the world, especially in Africa.
“We are pleased to have a close partnership with the Government of Nigeria on the COVID-19 response,” said U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard. “Given the progress Nigeria has made, and the potential to make significant, additional advancement, we are pleased to surge more resources to help rapidly increase vaccination rates.”
As part of Global VAX, USAID plans to provide an additional $33.3 million in Nigeria to support activities that may include bolstering cold chain supply and logistics, addressing vaccine confidence and demand, and increasing the accessibility of vaccination sites.
It was also revealed that Global VAX will support Nigeria’s existing vaccination plans, and will help get vaccines to people quickly, safely, and equitably.
This is part of an announcement made in December 2021, that the U.S. government would provide an additional $315 million for Global VAX, bringing the total U.S. government commitment to vaccine readiness and delivery to more than $1.7 billion.
Global VAX is a whole-of-U.S.-government effort to accelerate vaccine uptake toward the global goal to vaccinate 70 percent of the world population against COVID-19 in 2022.