“We want people in these difficult circumstances to receive protection from Covid-19 as soon as possible,” said State Secretary Antony Blinken at a Covid-19 event.
Before this agreement, J&J’s vaccine doses could only be used in official vaccination programs of other governments.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is highly valued in these areas for its single-dose vaccination style and flexibility in storage and transportation.
Blinken also announced “a new public-private partnership called the Global Covid Corps” in which private sector companies will work “pro bono to share their expertise and capabilities to support vaccination campaigns, take on things such as managing of supply chains and helping optimize vaccine sites to deliver shots as quickly and safely as possible.”
Blinken said the International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the ACT Accelerator “created a comprehensive Covid data tracker,” to map information on vaccination rates, ICU admissions, doses promised and doses delivered.
The top US diplomat said the tracker, to be launched on Wednesday, will provide transparency and accountability.
“We’re stuck in a cycle of spending a lot of money when a crisis hits, then letting that funding dry up after the crisis is over, meaning we can’t stop the next one or have to catch up,” he said, giving his fellow diplomats ‘to help build and support the political will to break that cycle’.
“We know the urgency of this battle. We know what we have to do to stop the pandemic. Now we have to do it,” Blinken said.
The ministerial event was attended by the Chinese ambassador to the US, as well as representatives from Germany, Italy, South Korea, India, South Africa, Peru, Norway, Indonesia, WHO and the UN, among others.
Blinken’s announcement on Wednesday comes as Biden aims to reaffirm US leadership on the global stage and help countries struggling with Covid-19 outbreaks fight the pandemic. The vaccine donations will also serve to counter efforts by Russia and China to use their own state-funded vaccines to expand their global influence.
Biden has said he wants America to become an “arsenal of vaccines” in the fight against Covid-19. He has repeatedly stressed that there are no obligations to accept the vaccines purchased in the US.
Biden announced last month that the US would purchase an additional 500 million Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to donate to low- and lower-middle-income countries around the world, bringing the total number of vaccines the US has pledged to donate to more than 1 billion coming. .
These vaccines will be distributed through COVAX, an initiative led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, along with the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
Distributing vaccines worldwide was a complex undertaking for the Biden administration. White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan have worked with multiple federal agencies, including the Department of Defense and the State Department, to coordinate the process and ensure that doses are met without commitment. Delivered.
The president has also called on other world leaders to increase their vaccine donations to countries that need them most to help end the pandemic.
The president also said $2 billion in US contributions would go to a global coronavirus vaccine initiative and support COVAX. He also pledged an additional $2 billion in funding depending on contributions from other countries and meeting the dose delivery targets.
This story has been updated with additional information.