Press Release

Statement of Amanda Glassman on US and UK Contributions to COVAX

February 19, 2021
Contact: Jeremy Gaines Center for Global Development +1 (202) 416-4058

With both President Biden and Prime Minister Johnson announcing increased contributions to COVAX, the Center for Global Development’s executive vice president Amanda Glassman, a global health expert and former principal technical lead for health at the Inter-American Development Bank, released the following statement:

“The Biden Administration's move to commit $4 billion to COVAX is a long-overdue step toward ending the pandemic globally, especially since the rise of new variants means that the only way to truly control COVID is to make sure everyone can get vaccinated—not just people in rich countries.”

“Timing is everything. We'd be in a different situation today if COVAX had been fully funded last March. But the world is better off than it was yesterday thanks these big new commitments from the US and UK. Rich countries should do more, because the sooner the funding is available, the sooner we can start dealing with problems like distributing vaccines around the globe.”

“Along with COVAX, wealthy countries need to commit to sharing excess vaccines. Overbuying made sense given how uncertain vaccine development is, but countries like the US, Canada, and the UK are soon going to have more vaccines than people. If we're serious about ending the pandemic, wealthy countries need to make plans now so they’re ready to share surplus vaccines as soon as their own populations are vaccinated.”