In June 2021, the Mastercard Foundation partnered with the Africa CDC to launch a $1.5 billion initiative called Saving Lives and Livelihoods. Together, we are purchasing vaccines for more than 65 million people, deploying vaccines to millions more across the continent, enabling vaccine manufacturing in Africa by developing the workforce, and strengthening the Africa CDC’s capacity.
Shots in arms: Update on Saving Lives and Livelihoods
The following are key highlights of the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative since its launch:
Second Global COVID-19 Summit: In recognition of the Foundation’s significant commitment and action to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations, Mastercard Foundation CEO Reeta Roy, was invited to moderate a high-level session at the second Global COVID-19 Summit, around “Vaccinating the World” and ensuring vaccination among the most vulnerable unreached groups.
Addressing expiring vaccines: The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative deployed rapid response teams to support vaccination in countries facing the prospect of vaccine expiration, including Cameroon and South Sudan. In Cameroon, part of the focus included training health workers to address vaccine hesitancy in communities.
Enabling continental vaccine manufacturing: Last year, the governments of Senegal and Rwanda signed a Memorandum of Understanding with German biotechnology company, BioNTech, to establish mRNA vaccine sites in their respective countries. The sites will initially focus on producing COVID-19 vaccines, but eventually expand to other vaccines. The Mastercard Foundation is supporting the transfer of critical technical knowledge that will be key in enabling mRNA vaccine manufacturing by funding the development of a historic white paper intended to facilitate the transfer of knowledge.