While a small number of countries have made substantial progress in rolling out COVID-19 vaccines to their populations, the inequity of distribution reminds us that we are still a far way off from achieving the more prosperous and equitable future the Sustainable Development Goals stand for.
COVAX is playing a critical role in purchasing vaccines for countries that may not have seen them for many more months otherwise and has managed to deliver over 30 million COVID-19 vaccines to 52 countries so far. But the equitable distribution of the vaccine must remain a priority — with serious implications on human lives and also the global economy if it does not.
We know that many partners in our network want to be part of the solution and harness your own resources and capabilities to help with this effort. Goal 17 Partners has partnered with Handshake to create this list of ways the private sector can engage in the COVID-19 vaccine effort, which will be updated regularly, and we are happy to be a resource if you have further questions or would like connections to the initiatives featured here.
Communicate and Educate
The United Nations created the Verified initiative to encourage everyone to check the advice we share to make sure we are not spreading potentially harmful information. You can sign up for daily briefings and find communication tools at their website ShareVerified.com
Communicate a message of global solidarity:
From March 11th to March 17th, 2021, the UN is asking citizens of the world to share what they will do again when we truly defeat COVID-19 across the globe, using the hashtag #OnlyTogether. More information can be found at Onlytogether.art
Educate Americans about the vaccine:
- The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative have an “It’s Up to You” campaign to provide Americans with information about the vaccines. There are over 300 brands involved and they are working with groups like Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Black Coalition Against COVID-19, NAACP, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, and more to extend a focus to Black and Hispanic communities.
- The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) This is Our Shot campaign is providing resources to their manufacturers, teams, and communities to ensure their own networks understand that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and available.
The Office of Minority Health is planning a $40 million campaign with the Morehouse School of Medicine to engage ethnic and racial minorities around the COVID-19 vaccine. Their theme for April is #VaccineReady.
Protect Your Employees
The White House announced a new initiative working with the private sector to coordinate the vaccine rollout. The partnership includes the Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers as well as leaders in the Hispanic, African American, Asian American and other minority business organizations. They asked that companies interested in joining:
- Require masks to be worn at all of their locations.
- Reduce barriers to vaccinations for employees and families such as time off to receive the vaccine, financial incentives for employees that get vaccinated, and ride share credits to vaccination sites.
Communicate with the public and your customers your support for masks, vaccines, and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through your website, social media, and other communications channels.
Support and Join Global Initiatives
The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) is a global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. ACT-A brings together governments, scientists, business, civil society, philanthropists and global health organizations. ACT-A has the ambitious target to provide 2 billion vaccine doses to the world by the end of 2021. To donate to ACT-A click here.
Organized by the World Economic Forum, the COVID Action Platform has three main priorities: galvanizing the global business community for collective action, protecting people’s livelihoods and facilitating business continuity, and mobilizing cooperation and business support for the COVID-19 response.
COVAX is the the vaccine pillar of ACT-A led by Gavi alongside CEPI and WHO. The initiative involves coordinating the COVAX Facility, a global risk-sharing mechanism for procurement and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Created at the request of the WHO by the UN Foundation, in partnership with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, this fund is collecting monetary donations to support WHO’s work on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility is an initiative co-led by UNDP, the UN Global Compact and the International Chamber of Commerce in partnership with DHL, Microsoft and PwC to help communities recover better from the pandemic, using the SDGs as a blueprint. The purpose of this initiative is to mobilize the private sector, engage with governments and act as a key partner in an integrated, sustainable response to the short-, medium- and long-term impacts of COVID-19.
Innovate New Solutions
Throughout this pandemic, we’ve seen incredible innovative and collaborative solutions to the problems we have faced. We need to continue these unprecedented efforts as we distribute the vaccine and then use these tactics beyond as we tackle other global challenges. Here are a few examples of some of the innovative solutions we’ve seen so far:
- Merck will help make Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines
- Walmart is now offering drive-thru COVID-19 vaccinations
- Salesforce will help Gavi manage critical information involved in the distribution of 2 billion vaccines
- Budweiser donated their Super Bowl ad dollars to COVID-19 vaccine awareness
- Companies like Starbuck’s, Target, and Trader Joe’s are giving employees incentives to get vaccinated
- Moderna is working with Uber to raise awareness and increase access to COVID-19 vaccines by providing credible information on vaccine safety through Uber’s in-app messaging
- IBM is offering their technology to help record and authenticate the temperature and handling of each vaccine
- Honeywell created a playbook for community vaccination events