These days, it feels like the world is spinning in two different directions at once.
In countries that gained access to COVID-19 vaccines first, we’re seeing slowing infection rates and progress toward reopening. However, most of the world’s population has yet to receive access to vaccines, and remains at heightened risk of contracting the disease. Our friends, families, and coworkers in India, Brazil, Colombia, and many other countries around the world are experiencing a surge in cases. We must do more to help our global community.
In order to stop the spread of COVID-19, everyone needs equitable access to vaccinations. That’s why today, Twilio announced that we’re providing $10 million to COVAX to support development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for people living in underserved countries.
COVAX: a global public-private partnership
Coordinated by Gavi, Unicef, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization, COVAX is a global partnership between the public and private sectors to develop and purchase vaccines for all participating countries, regardless of their income. COVAX is a remarkable example of the power of public-private partnership, one that has already procured 77 million vaccines and is on the path toward their goal of procuring and distributing 2 billion vaccines.
This partnership with COVAX is a key component of a multi-year initiative at Twilio to help end the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Twilio provided $3.9 million for crisis response, and powered communications for more than 28 contact tracing initiatives with the potential to address the contact tracing needs of over half the United States population. In March 2021, we announced our commitment to help one billion people receive COVID-19 vaccinations. As part of this commitment, we’re providing access to Twilio technology, grant funding, and volunteer support to help organizations build and staff communications for vaccine administration. This funding for COVAX is the first of several grants that we will announce in 2021 to support equitable vaccine distribution.
Communication plays a vital role in the equitable rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, and today Twilio is partnering with hundreds of organizations who are using communications to accelerate vaccine coordination, distribution, and administration. That includes organizations like Save the Children, who are using chatbots and WhatsApp to combat vaccine misinformation, and RoboRecruiter, who used Twilio SMS and Twilio SendGrid to automate the sourcing, screening and hiring of over 5,000 vaccinators in London.
By supporting COVAX, we seek to increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines so that NGOs, healthcare organizations, and governments around the world have access to the supplies they need to vaccinate their populations.
How can we help?
If you are working on communications to support vaccine distribution, we’re here to help you too. I encourage you to visit our COVID-19 vaccine field guide for more information about how Twilio can help you build the solutions you need to get vaccines to the people you serve.
Together, we can build the path to equitable vaccine access.