U.S. COVID-19 vaccine donations spanned the globe in 2021

The United States and partner organizations waged a historic vaccination campaign in 2021, delivering millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses worldwide.

Working with partners, the United States distributed more than 350 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to over 110 countries, supported vaccine manufacturing abroad and rushed lifesaving assistance to hot spots around the world.

President Biden said America would be the world’s “arsenal of vaccines” and pledged to donate more than 1.2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to other countries.

“We know how to beat this pandemic: vaccines, public health measures, and collective action,” Biden said at a global COVID-19 summit September 22. A second summit is planned for early 2022.

(State Dept./B. Insley)

U.S. vaccine donations come with no political strings attached. Most are delivered through COVAX, the international partnership dedicated to equitably distributing COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Since March 2020, the United States has provided more than $19.6 billion worldwide to produce and deliver vaccines, strengthen supply chains and spur global economic recovery. The funding includes a $4 billion U.S. contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in support of COVAX.

“The majority of vaccines donated to COVAX so far have been donated by the United States,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said December 6.

A UNICEF worker checks boxes of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine donated by the U.S. through COVAX in Nairobi, Kenya, August 23. (© Brian Inganga/AP Images)

U.S. efforts support the WHO goal of vaccinating 70% of the population of every country by September 2022. In 2021, the U.S. and international partners:

  • Donated refrigerators, freezers and ultra-cold storage equipment to ensure vaccine doses remain effective.
  • Educated communities on COVID-19 vaccine safety to boost confidence in vaccines.
  • Supported COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing in India, Senegal and South Africa to increase supply.
  • Responded to dire COVID-19 outbreaks in countries including India and Brazil, providing ventilators, therapeutics and other lifesaving aid.

U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power announced on December 6 the Global Vaccine Access initiative, bringing $400 million to further speed vaccinations and deliver aid.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on December 21 an additional $580 million in U.S. funding for seven international organizations fighting COVID-19 around the world, including UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization.

The continued support will allow more people to safely return to normal life the way Francisca Ohaco Magallanes, a great-great-grandmother in Villa Soriano, Uruguay, did in 2021 when COVID-19 vaccines enabled her to see family again.

“For me, it’s like reinforcement, another life I’ve been given,” Magallanes, then 92, told UNICEF in August.

Aesha, a refugee from Syria, got her vaccine in March after a COVAX delivery to the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. “The vaccine is protection for us all,” the then-62-year-old Aesha told UNICEF. “I am very grateful.”