The United States says it is stepping up efforts to boost production of COVID-19 vaccines and continue to donate vaccines to poor countries, meeting the goal of ending the pandemic by next fall . Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday that the United States had brokered a deal to have Johnson & Johnson vaccines sent to people living in conflict zones.
Blinken made the remarks during a virtual ministerial meeting on COVID-19 he convened with his counterparts from other countries and international organizations.
“I am pleased to share that the United States helped broker an agreement between J&J and COVAX to facilitate the first delivery of J&J vaccines to people living in conflict zones and other humanitarian settings,” said Blinken said at Wednesday’s opener. Remarks.
COVAX is the international vaccine-sharing mechanism for the world’s poorest countries supported by the United Nations and health organizations Gavi and CEPI.
The US Secretary of State announced other measures, including a comprehensive COVID data tracking tool created by the International Monetary Fund, World Health Organization and World Bank.
A new public-private partnership has also been established, where leading private sector companies will volunteer to share their expertise to support vaccination campaigns, manage supply chains and help administer vaccines as quickly and safely as possible.
Wednesday’s announcement comes after Moderna said it would sell up to 110 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to African Union member countries. The continent faces a shortage of vaccines.
Last month, the White House said the United States was sending more than 4.8 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to four African countries, including Chad, Egypt, Gabon and Kenya. US officials said the 55-member African Union determined the allocations.
“In North America, in Europe, more than half the population is fully vaccinated,” Blinken said at the virtual ministerial conference on Wednesday. “In Africa, less than 10% of the population is. We must close this gap.
The meeting follows a September COVID-19 summit hosted by US President Joe Biden, where participating countries set a goal of ending the pandemic by the UN General Assembly in 2022.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic nearly two years ago resulted in more than 5 million deaths worldwide.
Officials said the United States has delivered more than 235 million doses to more than 100 countries and will continue to ship vaccines regularly to various countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had set itself the goal of vaccinating at least 70% of the world’s population by next September in each country.