FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The United States will soon start providing $4 billion for COVAX, an international program to buy and distribute COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries.
White House officials said President Joe Biden will make the announcement Friday at a G-7 meeting and will also encourage other members of the group to make good on their pledges to the World Health Organization initiative, the Associated Press reported.
The $4 billion in funding was approved by Congress in December and will be doled out through 2022. The United States is committed to working through COVAX to ensure “equitable distribution of vaccines and funding globally,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday.
The COVAX program has already missed its own goal of beginning COVID-19 vaccinations in poor countries at the same time that shots were rolled out in rich countries, the AP reported. The WHO says COVAX needs $5 billion in 2021.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that 130 countries have not received a single dose of the vaccine and declared that “at this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community.”
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