On 22 September 2021, alongside the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, the WHO Foundation and the Global Humanitarian Action Executive Alliance (GHAEA) hosted a virtual side event with a group of global health and business leaders who came together to discuss urgent solutions to the challenge of vaccine equity and how dynamic partnerships can make a difference.
In opening the event, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the “[i]nequitable distribution of life saving tools including not just vaccines, but also diagnostics oxygen and personal protective equipment is driving a two track pandemic.” He stressed that “we need action not just promises. This is a global crisis and ending it requires global solidarity. The private sector can play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19.”
To address vaccine inequity, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) launched the COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC). The Gavi COVAX AMC is the innovative financing instrument that is supporting the participation of 92 low- and middle-income economies in the COVAX Facility – enabling access to donor-funded doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. The COVAX AMC, combined with additional support for country readiness and delivery, will make sure the most vulnerable in all countries can be protected in the short term, regardless of income level.
Speakers came together and supported Go Give One, a fundraising campaign with no borders that aims to mobilise funds from 50 million individuals for the procurement of vaccines through Gavi’s COVAX AMC to help ensure global vaccine equity and access.
In highlighting the role the private sector plays in the pandemic’s response, Stanley Bergman, Chairman and CEO of Henry Schein, Inc., noted that the Go Give One Campaign “epitomises the power of public-private partnerships, leveraging the strengths, expertise, and competencies of each actor to maximise our impact together” in announcing a financial contribution from the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, as well an in-kind contribution of healthcare products to the WHO.
Nikki Clifton, President of Social Impact and the UPS Foundation demonstrated how drones are helping UPS meet their commitment of delivering 20million vaccine doses in Malawi, Indonesia and Ghana.
The disparity in vaccination rates between rich and poor countries is astonishing. WHO Foundation CEO, Anil Soni explained how even when life looked like it was going to open up in areas with high vaccination rates, the Delta variant shattered that illusion and COVID-19 will not be over anywhere until it is over everywhere.
Shining a spotlight on innovative solutions, Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, Acting Director General, Islamic Development Bank Institute showcased the potential that Islamic social financing mechanisms such as zakat can play in supporting vaccine equity.
The event closed with an invitation to join the Global Citizen LIVE event which will take place
on 25 September and will invite audiences to donate to the Go Give One Campaign. This is a 24hr global broadcast and streaming event featuring an extraordinary lineup of artists and performances from all over the world. Connecting Lagos, Paris, New York City, London, Sydney, Seoul, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, Mumbai and more. Together, they will call on world leaders, corporations, and foundations to prioritise vaccine equity, feed millions who are facing famine, and curb climate change. The event can be streamed on ABC, BBC, Fx, YouTube, and many other platforms.
It is obvious that this global crisis cannot be solved by any one country, government or company alone and everyone must come together to end this pandemic.
For more information or to join the Go Give One Campaign, please go to the website gogiveone.org or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.