United States Government donates 302 400 doses of COVID-19 Vaccine to Lesotho
23 July 2021
Statement by UNICEF Lesotho and the US Embassy in Maseru on the arrival of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Today, Lesotho receives 302 400 doses of Johnson&Johnson COVID19 vaccines donated by the United States Government. The donation comes following close collaboration between the COVAX facility, the African Union (AU)/ African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), and the United States Government. "Over the last year, the United States has continued its global leadership in public health and the international COVID-19 response. We have moved swiftly to help the Kingdom of Lesotho control the spread of COVID-19, and we will continue to support the vaccine rollout with trusted implementing partners and the Ministry of Health," said Ambassador Gonzales of the US Embassy in Lesotho.
"We are pleased to see partners, such as the US Government, working together to ensure the equitable access and timely delivery of vaccines in Africa”. said Kimanzi Muthingi, Deputy Representative UNICEF Lesotho. “Every vaccines arrival to Lesotho is a significant moment. UNICEF remains committed to partner with the Government of Lesotho so that all who are eligible have access to COVID-19 vaccines as they become available." This is the third delivery of many that will be allocated to Lesotho in the coming months.
The COVAX Facility is working to accelerate the development of and access to COVID-19 vaccines. Today’s delivery of vaccines contributes to the AVAT goal of achieving 60% coverage across the African continent by 2022 As the vaccine is rolled out, all Basotho are encouraged to continue wearing a mask, washing their hands regularly, avoiding crowded places, and practicing social distancing.
What is COVAX?
COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF and the World Bank, civil society organizations, manufacturers, and others. In addition, COVAX is part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
COVAX has built a diverse portfolio of vaccines suitable for a range of settings and populations and is on track to meet its goal of delivering at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to participating countries around the globe by the end of 2021. This includes at least $ 1.3 billion in donor-funded doses to the 92 lower-income COVAX Facility participants supported by the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). For several months, COVAX partners have been supporting governments and partners to prepare for this moment.
They have been especially active in working with some of the world's poorest countries: those that will benefit from the AMC, an innovative financial mechanism to help secure global and equitable access for COVID-19 vaccines. This entails assisting with the development of national vaccination plans, support for cold chain infrastructure, as well as stockpiling of half a billion syringes and safety boxes for their disposal, masks, gloves, and other equipment to ensure that there is enough equipment for health workers to start vaccinating priority groups as soon as possible.