December 9, 2021

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Innovative Next Steps in the Global COVID-19 Response

14 min read

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

The United States continues to lead on the global COVID-19 response through action, coordination, and collaboration with other governments, international and regional organizations, and the private sector.  We have scaled manufacturing of vaccines and lifesaving equipment, contributed to support international vaccine distribution mechanisms like COVAX, and donated — in partnership with COVAX or bilaterally — more than 234 million vaccine doses to more than 100 countries and economies around the world.  We are well on our way to delivering on our commitment to donate 1.1 billion safe, effective, and free COVID-19 vaccines doses with no political strings attached.  

While these efforts are important steps, we must do more.  Today, I convened a COVID-19 Ministerial to discuss with foreign ministers representing every region of the world and representatives of international and regional organizations the status of our collective COVID-19 response and important steps forward.  These include three new efforts. 

First, to ensure that vaccine doses reach people in need, Global COVID Corps, a coalition of leading private sector companies, will provide pro bono expertise, tools, and capabilities to support logistics and vaccination efforts in low- and middle-income countries.  This effort, which includes some of the largest U.S.-based and non-U.S based multinational corporations, will work with and support countries in key areas including supply management, supply chain logistics, vaccine site network infrastructure, vaccine site optimization, and demand generation. Governments, international and regional organizations, civil society and the private sector must continue to work together to defeat this pandemic.  

We also must rely on data-driven tools to measure our progress towards meeting the ambitious targets set forth in President Biden’s recent Summit, hold ourselves accountable to the commitments we have made, and identify gaps in our global response.  To advance these goals of transparency and accountability and track the response, I welcome the launch of the Global COVID-19 Access Tracker, powered by the Multilateral Leaders Task Force (MLT) and the ACT-Accelerator.  This site, located at COVID19GlobalTracker.org, includes a public-facing dashboard that tracks progress against the key global targets.  Data will continually be uploaded and updated to enable all of us to track progress at the global, regional, and national level.  

Finally, we need to ensure that people everywhere can access vaccines, and that those who cannot be reached by government vaccination campaigns are included in our efforts to vaccinate the world.  The United States has helped broker an agreement between Johnson & Johnson and COVAX to facilitate the first delivery of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses to people living in conflict zones and other humanitarian settings.  We are committed to helping people in these difficult circumstances to get protection against COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Ending this global pandemic requires global solutions, cooperation, and innovation.  We need political will, resources, and cooperation to succeed.  During the course of the Ministerial, we discussed our shared commitment to rapidly expand the provision of vaccines so that we can meet the WHO’s targets.  We also discussed how to foster regional collaboration to address systemic challenges that have been laid bare by the pandemic.  The United States is committed to working with partners to build increased regional capacity.  Finally, we addressed the need to expand global production of vaccines and other vital medical supplies, an expansion that the United States has invested in and will continue to support, as well as what is needed to strengthen, govern and sustain an effective global health security architecture.  I look forward to future convenings with foreign ministers, and to working together to end this pandemic everywhere, and for everyone. 

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