U.S. Donates First Tranche of Over Half a Million Pfizer Vaccine Doses to Kosovo; August 20, 2021
Delivering on President Biden’s pledge to assist global partners in the fight against COVID-19, today the United States donated the first tranche of an expected 503,100 lifesaving, safe, and highly effective Pfizer vaccine doses to Kosovo. This represents the largest single COVID-19 vaccine donation by any country or organization to Kosovo. With these doses, the Kosovo government will be able to fully inoculate and protect its citizens, bringing it 20 percent closer to achieving its overall vaccination goal.
Today’s shipment is part of President Biden’s commitment to share COVID-19 vaccine doses from U.S. domestic supplies to support global needs. Because no country can defeat COVID-19 alone, the United States initially committed in June to share 80 million vaccine doses with the world. As of August 3, we have donated and shipped over 110 million doses to more than 60 countries, and this is just the beginning. As President Biden has said, “We are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions. We are sharing these vaccines to save lives and lead the world in bringing an end to the pandemic.”
Speaking at the arrival ceremony, Ambassador Philip S. Kosnett said, “Vaccines only work if individuals get vaccinated. Many people still believe the vaccine is not necessary, or that if they have contracted and survived COVID, they cannot get sick again. This is simply not true, particularly in light of the dramatic increase in cases caused by the Delta variant. So please – get vaccinated to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities.”
The U.S. donated vaccines were delivered through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) mechanism, a global initiative to support equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. With its $4 billion financial contribution to Gavi in support of COVAX, the United States is the largest single financial donor to COVAX. COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI), Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO), with UNICEF as a key delivery partner. With this shipment, Kosovo has received over 700,000 doses through the COVAX AMC.
In addition to vaccines, since the start of the pandemic, the United States has provided nearly $4 million in protective gear, medical equipment, grants for online learning, and other COVID-19 related assistance to help schools, medical facilities, families, and communities across Kosovo’s 38 municipalities. By providing assistance today, we are laying the foundation for a sovereign, self-reliant, and resilient Kosovo tomorrow; one that embraces its responsibilities at home, but also as an equal partner in the region, within Europe, and the world.