Discovery partnered with UNICEF USA at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to help accelerate COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline health care workers and vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries.
As part of the entertainment company's RISE Initiative (Reducing Inequality and Supporting Empowerment), Discovery donated $1 for every new discovery+ subscription purchased by a consumer to support UNICEF's work focused on the equitable distribution of safe COVID-19 vaccines. The discovery+ streaming service launched in the U.S. on Jan. 4, 2021, and donations continued through June 30, 2021.
To date, the partnership has raised over $1 million through customer and employee fundraising to support UNICEF's critical work.
“Discovery has a long history of engaging our audiences to join us in giving back, which is one of the company’s core values," David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery, Inc., said when the partnership was first announced. "This innovative, new partnership gives discovery+ subscribers the opportunity to help UNICEF achieve its goal of delivering COVID-19 vaccines to underserved populations across nearly 100 countries.”
“COVID-19 threatens progress for an entire generation of children, but with the support of Discovery and its viewers, UNICEF can help vaccinate health care and social workers, ensuring they can safely provide communities around the world with critical care and support,” UNICEF USA President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis said. “This impactful partnership will help protect vulnerable populations and support global recovery.”
The UNICEF partnership builds on other committments by Discovery to support pandemic relief efforts, including helping No Kid Hungry provide 875 million meals to families in need through the Turn Up! Fight Hunger program. Discovery also helped raise $1.3 million to benefit the Mount Sinai COVID-19 Relief Fund for personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies and also assisted in fundraising for Guy Fieri’s Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.
UNICEF is the largest single vaccine buyer in the world, procuring more than two billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunization and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries. UNICEF, an organization with unique and longstanding expertise in procurement and logistics to help children in need, and was tapped early on in the pandemic to lead COVID-19 vaccine supply efforts on behalf of COVAX, the vaccine pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
"The Vaccine: Conquering COVID," a documentary that premiered on Discovery and the discovery+ streaming service on Feb. 21, 2021, goes behind the scenes of the race for a vaccine and features interviews with the world’s leading doctors involved including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health; and Dr. John Mascola of the National Institutes of Health, as well as interviews with scientists from leading pharmaceutical companies including Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer.
Having been chosen by the World Health Organization and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to lead on global procurement and distribution of the vaccine to those in the hardest to reach places, UNICEF’s COVID-19 work is also featured in the documentary.
Top photo: A nurse at Buéa Regional Hospital in Buéa, Southwest Cameroon, flashes a "V for vaccinated" sign showing that she has received a coronavirus vaccine. © UNICEF/UN0419318/DeJongh