In a bid to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates the U.S. government is set to surge resources to Nigeria with additional $33.3 million through the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access (Global VAX).
United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Assistant Administrator for Global Health, Dr Atul Gawande, made the announcement on February 23.
Global VAX augments international vaccine support by the U.S. government, which is the largest donor to COVAX and already has supplied over 21.7 million doses as well as technical and logistical support to Nigeria.
A press statement by the mission, Wednesday in Abuja, said 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.
“We are proud to partner with it as the United States launches this important initiative to boost global vaccination rates.”
He added, “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.”
On her part, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said: “We are pleased to have a close partnership with the Government of Nigeria on the COVID-19 response.
“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.”
Since 2020, the United States has provided $143 million to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 response; just as USAID plans to provide an additional $33.3 million in Nigeria, as part of Global VAX, to support activities that may include bolstering cold chain supply and logistics, addressing vaccine confidence and demand, and increasing the accessibility of vaccination sites. Global VAX also 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 per cent of the world population against COVID-19 in 2022.