Church donations aiding UNICEF’s role in global effort to provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccinations

A vaccinated member of Hanoi Medical University’s medical staff makes a “V” sign in Hanoi, Vietnam. Credit: UNICEF
Health worker Ram Thapa Magar from the Palungtar Community Health Centre, Gorkha District, in north-central Nepal packs and prepares COVID-19 vaccines to be administered during the latest phase of the vaccine drive, wherein health and front-line workers a Credit: UNICEF
Malawi’s former President Joyce Banda receives her COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 field hospital in Zomba, Malawi. Credit: UNICEF
UNICEF Malawi Representative Rudolf Schwenk with Archbishop Thomas Msusa of the Archdiocese of Blantyre, Malawi. After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the archbishop said: “I am a very excited Malawian today. I have been encouraging my church members to rec Credit: UNICEF
Jerusha, a nurse at Kenyatta National Hospital, received the COVID-19 vaccine at the hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 5, 2021. She says: “I’m glad the vaccine is here and I feel safe. I would tell my fellow health workers to get vaccinated. We are on Credit: UNICEF
At the Ashanti Regional Medical Stores in Kumasi, Ghana, UNICEF Chief of Health and Nutrition Mrunal Shetye and Health and Nutrition Officer Porbilla Ofosu-Apea check the flow of syringes and masks to vaccination centers, March 5, 2021. Credit: UNICEF

The global effort to distribute 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines to at-risk populations ­has reached 121 countries and territories, with Latter-day Saint Charities supporting UNICEF’s role in the initiative.

With its $20 million grant to UNICEF, Latter-day Saint Charities — the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — is aiding the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and the vaccines arm of the ACT Accelerator, called the COVAX Facility

COVAX is a global effort among the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; UNICEF; the Pan American Health Organization; and the World Health Organization. And the initiative provides an equitable rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments to people from vulnerable communities.

The Latter-day Saint Charities donation to UNICEF was announced two months ago.

“It is unprecedented in the history of the world where partners have come together to make this happen and to bring a vaccine which is going to be lifesaving to countries all over the world,” said Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF’s representative in India, in an April 30 report on Newsroom.

India is among the many countries still experiencing intense transmission of the coronavirus, according to WHO.

This week marks World Immunization Week, which runs from April 24 to April 30. Celebrated every April, it promotes the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.

The first international delivery of 600,000 vaccines reached Ghana in February. Since April 23, 2021, the one-year anniversary of the launch of the ACT Accelerator, over 49 million vaccine doses have been shipped around the world. The vaccines, supplied by the COVAX Facility and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, were shipped to the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana’s capital.

For more information about the initiative and responses from recipients in Ghana, South Sudan and Kenya, please see the complete article on Newsroom.

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