The United States is demanding from the world more about the global fight against Covid as its own money dwindles

Without additional funds, it will be difficult for US overseas vaccination programs to continue – some programs are planning to wrap up in the next month. However, administration officials working on the global Covid effort have said they are committed to ensuring that people in low-income countries have access to Covid-19 blows.

Concerns over the summit come after US lawmakers failed to approve $ 5 billion in additional funding for the global pandemic response. Democrats and Republicans are negotiating whether to enclose a further request in an assistance package for Ukraine, but it is unclear whether Congress will reach an agreement before the summit.

“Because Congress has acted before, we are able to call others to act, and if Congress continues to act, we will continue to be able to do good,” said another senior administration official.

A significant portion of the $ 5 billion would go to the US Agency for International Development to help low-income countries raise their vaccination rates beyond the 10 percent mark. There are 18 countries with vaccination rates below that level, including Niger, South Sudan and Yemen.

Some administration officials insist that the United States has done more than any other country to help with global vaccinations against Covid-19 and that the May 12 summit is expected to spark similar commitments from other countries. At the first vaccination summit in September, the White House announced an additional 500 million doses of Pfizer for the world and hundreds of millions of dollars in risk insurance to Gavi, the vaccine alliance, to ship the doses. So far the United States has shipped nearly 530 million doses of the vaccine, according to a KFF pursuer.

“We must continue to do our part,” said one administration official, noting the United States’ previous commitment to donate more than a billion vaccines. “What the summit needs to reflect is that the United States is also engaging with others to do their part.”

For weeks it was unclear whether the administration would host the summit. The event was originally scheduled for early this spring, but was delayed due to the war in Ukraine and because the administration needed more time to figure out if Democrats on Capitol Hill could push through international funding for the Covid.

After Congress did not approve the $ 5 billion last month, administration officials raised doubts whether it made sense to move forward, especially if the United States did not have any significant commitments to announce, according to one of the top officials. administration and another person familiar with the matter. Now, the White House is rushing to finalize summit commitments from companies, countries and philanthropists, one of the officials said.

Administration officials acknowledged that the lack of additional money weakens the government’s ability to ask countries to do more to fight the pandemic. It is possible that the administration promotes earlier committed funding and programming, for example, through Development Finance Corp. for increased vaccine production. The administration could also define the United States investment plan for Global Health Financial intermediary funda World Bank fund to help with pandemic preparedness.

President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield will attend the summit. But two people familiar with the matter have said it’s possible Biden may not appear live but rather through a recorded video.

Some senior administration officials have dismissed the notion that how Biden participates, whether through recorded video or live observations, matters, saying the summit was rescheduled this spring to ensure Biden and Harris could attend.

“We would not have this summit without the commitment of the president and vice president,” said one of the senior administration officials. “Both are participating and we are still working through modalities with ourselves and with our four co-hosts from around the world.”

The exact number of foreign commitments has yet to be finalized and the administration has refused to give details of what other countries and organizations have promised to do – regardless of whether it is political changes or financial commitments – calling only “stimulating” the current list. The United States has asked for a commitment from almost every country in the world, said one of the senior administration officials.

“Every speaker … speaks because he made a commitment, right? And there will be several speakers, “the official said.

There are multiple commitments for each summit theme, the official said. These themes are the same as last year’s summit – “Vaccinating the World”, “Saving Lives Now” and “Building Better Health Security” – although the policy objectives within these themes have been updated to meet new needs.

The updated policy goals, however, did not include switching to vaccination and empowering 90% of vulnerable populations before moving on to the goal of vaccinating 70% of all countries, a goal for which some global health experts they argued.

“We have not created a separate target from the 70s [percent]”said one of the senior administration officials, noting that early vaccination of high-risk groups was part of the US strategy.

Globally, the number of infections and deaths is at its lowest since March 2020, according to the World Health Organization, leading many people around the world to feel the pandemic is over.

US and global health officials warn that this is not the case, especially as the virus continues to evolve and new variants could again overwhelm hospitals and cause far more deaths. But as many governments abandoned pandemic-related restrictions, people’s appetite to get vaccinated has also decreased. With vaccines in abundance, the biggest problem now is helping governments around the world to vaccinate people.

“The summit is truly an important opportunity to solicit commitments,” Ted Chaiban, global lead coordinator for the preparation and delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country at the Covid-19 vaccine delivery partnership, told reporters Thursday. Such commitments could be financial or commitments to increase vaccination rates, Chaiban said.

“The summit itself is a way to maintain momentum,” he said.