GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance has announced commitments totaling $20 million from TikTok and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of COVID-19 response efforts in low-income countries in Africa.
To be matched by the Gates Foundation through the GAVI Matching Fund, a public-private funding mechanism for GAVI programs, the $10 million commitment from the popular short-form video platform will support life-saving immunization programs and the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines as they become available. GAVI currently is providing funding to national health systems to help protect healthcare workers, conduct vital surveillance and training, and purchase diagnostic tests, and is also working with partners to maintain ongoing immunization programs for preventable diseases such as measles, yellow fever, and polio.
"In the face of this unprecedented crisis, we are committed to playing our part in the global outpouring of mutual support and giving, and providing concrete relief for those most affected," the company said in a statement. "We believe this support can go a long way in the improvement of a robust and sustainable immunization program in African countries, in particular ensuring equal access to the future COVID-19 vaccines, making a real difference to the health and safety of the African community in the long term."
"This important contribution to GAVI will not only help us to deploy vaccines, once developed, against COVID-19, but it will also help us prevent a potentially catastrophic impact on immunization programs across the developing world," said GAVI chief executive officer Seth Berkley. "Working with global innovators such as TikTok lies at the heart of GAVI's public-private partnership model. The results we've achieved over the past two decades have only been possible thanks to the unique combination of expertise from our global public sector partners and the business acumen, creativity and entrepreneurship of the private sector."
(Photo credit: GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance)