The emergence of COVID-19 hotspots, as well as the concerning new omicron variant, has health officials scrambling and America reaching for its wallet.
As the federal government attempts to calm fears about the new omicron variant and the concerning delta, the United States will invest $400 million in a new program to assist foreign countries in getting vaccines to their citizens as quickly as possible.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said a new program called “the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access” would improve international coordination.
Officials with the agency stated that it would also assist countries in “overcoming vaccine access barriers.”
“The United States is committed to defeating the COVID-19 pandemic, both at home and abroad, and has been instrumental in the global response to fight the virus,” agency officials said in a news release. “To date, the U.S. government has responded in more than 120 countries to fight against COVID-19.
“Vaccinating the world is the best way to prevent future variants that could threaten the health of Americans and undermine our economic recovery,” the officials said.
The Biden administration maintains that as more vaccine supply flows to low- and middle-income countries, the US and other donors must redouble efforts to assist countries in receiving, distributing, and administering doses efficiently and effectively.
USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced the US government’s Initiative for Global Vaccine Access, or Global VAX, as part of the US government’s commitment to global frontline efforts to get shots into arms and save lives around the world.
Global VAX brings together a whole-of-government effort, through which the United States has already committed more than $1.3 billion for vaccine readiness, she said.
“Today USAID announced U.S. commitments of an additional $400 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, generously provided by the U.S. Congress, to further augment this work,” Power said.
“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.”
The U.S. government has called on all countries to likewise step up actions and commitments toward enhancing access to global COVID-19 vaccines.”