COVID-19: TIKTOK Pledges $10m to Gavi for Immunisation in Africa

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Ugo Aliogo

TikTok will be donating US$10 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which would be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing the total package of support to $20 million.

According to a statement by TikTok, the donation will go towards efforts to protect against existing infectious diseases and ensure equal access for future deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.

The statement also noted that TikTok, would be donating US$10 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which would go towards supporting efforts for both routine vaccinations against existing infectious diseases in Africa, as well as future deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.

“The contribution will be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through its support to the Gavi Matching Fund, a public-private funding mechanism designed to incentivise private sector investments in immunisation, bringing the total package of support to US$ 20 million,” the statement revealed.

The statement explained that amidst the global COVID-19 outbreak, TikTok was committed to supporting communities that had been deeply impacted by the coronavirus crisis in ways that were positive and beneficial.

The statement added that the donation would help build a sustainable immunisation programme by ensuring the continuity of existing vaccines even amidst disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement affirmed that the donation would ensure equal access to the future of COVID-19 vaccines, thereby contribute to, “strengthening Africa’s health systems in general and allowing TikTok to make a real impact in ensuring the health and safety of Africans in the long-term.”

The statement said in addition to supporting immunisation in Africa, TikTok had also continued to support front line health workers, educators, and local communities affected by COVID-19, both on and off the platform through various financial and educational efforts.

The statement maintained that TikTok recently partnered with Red Cross South Africa to launch the #WashingHands campaign which shared health and safety tips with the community and launched the #Love2Learn campaign in partnership with UNICEF South Africa which encouraged creative learning at home.

According to the statement: “TikTok was created to inspire creativity and bring joy to the community. In the face of this unprecedented crisis, we are committed to playing our part in the global outpouring of mutual support and giving and providing concrete relief for those most affected.

“We believe this support can go a long way in the improvement of a robust and sustainable immunisation programme in African countries, in particular ensuring equal access to the future COVID-19 vaccines, making a real difference to the health and safety of the African community in the long term.”

The Chief Executive Officer, Gavi, Dr. Seth Berkley, revealed that the contribution to Gavi would not only help to deploy vaccines, once developed, against COVID-19, but it would also help prevent a potentially catastrophic impact on immunisation programmes across the developing world.

He said: “Working with global innovators such as TikTok lies at the heart of Gavi’s public-private partnership model. The results we have achieved over the past two decades have only been possible thanks to the unique combination of expertise from our global public sector partners and the business acumen, creativity and entrepreneurship of the private sector. We thank TikTok for their support and the work they are doing in combating COVID-19, and look forward to even closer collaboration in the future.”