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Global Update: Puerto Rico Kicks Off Vaccine Awareness Campaign, Vaccines Arrive in Mexico, India Airlift

A look at Direct Relief's activities around the world.



Vaccinations taking place in Puerto Rico. Photos courtesy Med Centro.
  • Direct Relief and VOCES launch a campaign in Puerto Rico with athletes, musicians, and others to raise the island’s vaccination rate to 70%. Currently, 55% of residents have received at least one dose.
  • The United States and Mexico governments turned to Direct Relief to help deliver more than 1.75 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to four countries.
  • Direct Relief and FedEx sent a third chartered flight of medical support, carrying 27 tons of PPE, to India.
  • DoorDash, NACHC, and Direct Relief team up with the White House to incentivize people to get vaccinated.

Top Stories

#ReadyParaAbrazarnos Launches in Puerto Rico to Boost Vaccination Rates

The situation: 63% of Puerto Rico’s adult population has been vaccinated, compared to a national average of 62%, but health officials are aiming to hit a 70% vaccination rate by engaging people 30 years and younger. The response: VOCES, a nonprofit focused on vaccinations and health, is partnering with Direct Relief on an island-wide campaign to reach those who remain unvaccinated. Musicians, athletes including baseball legend Carlos Delgado and other celebrities are part of a campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated. The impact:  Direct Relief and VOCES have been part of vaccination efforts on the island, including large-scale vaccine drives in arenas, outreach at health centers, and vaccination efforts in the Plaza Las Americas, the island’s largest shopping mall that often records as many as 50,000 visitors a day.

Direct Relief Facilitates Covid Vaccine Deliveries to Belize, Bolivia, Mexico, and Paraguay

In collaboration with Direct Relief and the US and Mexican governments, FedEx delivers 1.35 million J&J vaccines to Toluca, Mexico on June 15, 2021. (FedEx photo)
In collaboration with Direct Relief and the US and Mexican governments, FedEx delivers 1.35 million J&J vaccines to Toluca, Mexico, on June 15, 2021. (FedEx photo)
The situation: With the U.S. reopening after making vaccines widely available, Covid-19 continues to surge abroad, largely due to a lack of vaccine doses. From South America and the Caribbean to Africa and South Asia, the percentage of people in some regions without access to a vaccine is still in the single digits. That’s why ensuring global access to vaccines is vital. The response: The governments of both the United States and Mexico requested assistance from Direct Relief in delivering 1.75 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to Mexico and throughout Central and South America. Thanks to a long-standing relationship with FedEx, Direct Relief was able to arrange for the vaccines to be flown from the U.S. to Mexico, and to support the government of Mexico in shipping vaccines to Belize, Bolivia, and Paraguay, the organization secured specialized containers and arranged for the doses to be safely packed. The impact: The vaccine doses will help prevent anticipated surges of Covid-19 in the recipient countries. And, with each shot, the world gets a little closer to ending the pandemic.

As India Continues Covid-19 Battle, Medical Supplies Arrive in Mumbai

Medical aid for India departs for Mumbai on June 12, 2021, as part of a third FedEx charter flight carrying out Covid-19 response deliveries. (FedEx photo)
Medical aid for India departs for Mumbai on June 12, 2021, as part of a third FedEx charter flight carrying out Covid-19 response deliveries. (FedEx photo)
The situation: Covid-19 infections are slowing in India, but for frontline medical providers, the fight continues. The response: Direct Relief, working with FedEx, has sent three chartered flights full of PPE and other medical supplies to India – a total of 130 tons of aid. The most recent arrived in Mumbai on June 13. The impact: Tata Memorial Centre will distribute the supplies to frontline medical facilities throughout the country.

Free Meals for Vaccinations: DoorDash and Direct Relief Team Up with NACHC and the White House

The situation: 65% of American adults are at least partially vaccinated against Covid-19, but the pace of vaccinations has slowed significantly in recent weeks. The response: To incentivize those still on the fence, Direct Relief, DoorDash, and the National Association of Community Health Centers are providing patients receiving vaccines with free meal credits.

“DoorDash is proud to team up with the White House and donate gift cards to bolster efforts to vaccinate over 70% of Americans by July 4th. We applaud the Administration for its ambitious public health initiatives, and are grateful to our partners, the National Association of Community Health Centers and Direct Relief, for their commitment to expanding vaccine access. We’re thrilled that these gift cards can help people get a meal delivered from a local restaurant so they can focus on resting after receiving their vaccination. In total, we’ve provided more than $3 million to help support vaccine outreach this year and we hope that this collaboration will play a part in getting our communities back to normal safely and responsibly,” said Tony Xu, CEO and Co-Founder of DoorDash.

Direct Relief is also working with Uber to connect health center patients seeking a vaccine with free rides. The impact: It’s part of the White House’s “Month of Action,” a collaborative effort with businesses to help get 70 percent of Americans vaccinated by July 4.

In Brief

The United States

  • Over the past two weeks, Direct Relief has delivered 982 medical aid shipments to 615 healthcare organizations in 48 states and territories, totaling $11.1 million in value and more than 48,000 pounds.
  • During that time, $380,000 in grants from Direct Relief have been issued.

Around the World

  • In the past two weeks, Direct Relief has delivered 41 shipments of medical aid to 45 healthcare organizations in 26 countries, totaling more than 125,000 pounds.
  • $542,000 in grants were distributed over the same two weeks.

Other News

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