LUSAKA, Zambia — The U.S. government will provide an immediate increase of resources to Zambia through the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access, or Global VAX, a U.S. government effort to turn COVID-19 vaccines in vials into vaccinations in arms. Global VAX will surge support and resources to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines in an initial group of 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Zambia.
As part of this effort, the U.S. government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to program an additional $28 million in funding in Zambia that will support Global VAX activities that make it easier for Zambians to get vaccinated: increasing the accessibility of vaccination sites, bolstering cold chain supply and logistics, and addressing vaccine confidence and demand. Global VAX will support the Zambian Ministry of Health’s existing vaccination plans at the provincial and district level to bring vaccines to people quickly and equitably.
These additional funds build on more than $24 million in USAID COVID-19 support to Zambia with an additional $12.3 million from other U.S. government agencies, while also leveraging other U.S. government investments in health, including the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the President’s Malaria Initiative.
Global VAX builds on President Biden’s commitment to donate more than 1.2 billion vaccine doses around the world by the end of 2022 and supports the global goal to vaccinate 70 percent of the world population against COVID-19 in 2022. Specifically, this initiative will increase assistance and strengthen international coordination to identify and rapidly overcome vaccine access barriers. To date, the United States has committed $1.7 billion globally to support vaccine readiness work.
Approximately two million Zambians have been fully vaccinated to date, and the Ministry of Health aims to vaccinate 70 percent of the eligible population by the end of June 2022. Increasing vaccine uptake is key to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and the negative impact of COVID-19 on individuals, the health system, communities, and families throughout Zambia. The U.S. government looks forward to continuing our partnership with Zambia to advance this critical effort.