June 1, 2021
By Janice Biehn
In April, PWRDF’s launched a Vaccine Equity Fund, inviting you to “pay it forward” when you get vaccinated. Thus far, $24,792 has been donated toward global dissemination of the COVID-19 vaccine. This week a grant of $20,000 will be disbursed to Partners In Health Liberia.
According to the most recent COVID-19 update from the World Health Organization, Liberia has confirmed 2,174 cases of COVID-19 and 86 deaths. However, these numbers are likely much higher given the challenges with COVID-19 testing in resource-poor countries such as Liberia. According to WHO, 55,690 vaccine doses have been administered as of May 26.
Liberia’s southeastern counties – including Maryland – have been prioritized for rapid testing training and use, given their distance from the National Reference Lab, porous borders with Cote d’Ivoire, and significant influx of refugees.
In Maryland County, PIH Liberia has managed to provide the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 2,298 people with vaccines donated from COVAX. PWRDF’s timely gift of $20,000 will enable PIHL to accelerate and scale up vaccination efforts. “Our goal is to provide the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 25,006 people in Maryland County by the end of June and the second dose in four months’ time,” says PIH.
The vaccination rollout started in May, prioritizing the elderly, healthcare workers, high-risk patients enrolled in care, local leaders (to help establish trust and reduce vaccine hesitancy among community members), high-risk workers (i.e. teachers, police) and people living in precarious socio-economic conditions, such as refugees. The goal is to administer the first dose of the vaccine to at least 25,000 people.
PWRDF funds will support this deployment, by promoting the vaccination in local media, providing necessary equipment to three vaccination clinics and providing transportation for people to get to the clinics.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, PWRDF donors have rallied to support vulnerable populations coping with COVID-19. We have received gifts totalling more than $300,000 for the All Mothers and Children Count COVID-19 extension, supporting our partners in Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Mozambique with PPE, sanitization supplies and prevention and awareness of COVID-19. We have also received more than $20,000 from donors to support our COVID response in India.
You can still pay it forward
As you are able to get your first or second vaccine dose, we continue to invite you to pay it forward with a donation to our Vaccine Equity Fund. Please click here to give today. You may also donate over the phone by calling Donor Relations Officer Mike Ziemerink at 416-822-9083, or leave a voicemail toll-free at 1-866-308-7973 and we will return your call. Or, send a cheque to PWRDF at 80 Hayden St., Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 3G2. Make sure to indicate Vaccine Equity Fund in the memo line of the cheque.