Richmond software CEO pledges to quadruple employees' donations to COVAX vaccine-sharing program
Milton Carrasco says he hopes to make 'big dent' in fundraising to help COVID-19 vaccine uptake
The CEO of a global software company in Richmond, B.C., is doing what he can to help ensure that every country has fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Milton Carrasco is encouraging everyone at his company, Transoft Solutions, to make a donation by the end of the month to COVAX — the global vaccine-sharing initiative — and he'll quadruple it.
"I'm of Asian descent but born in Africa and studied in the U.K. and now live in Canada," Carrasco said on the CBC's The Early Edition. "So I feel like I'm a global citizen."
Carrasco fled his home in Uganda in the 1970s when former military dictator Idi Amin threatened the lives of Ugandans of South Asian descent. He completed his master's degree after moving to Canada and said he fell in love with Vancouver when he first came to visit for Expo 86.
Transoft Solutions, which he co-founded, now employs more than 170 people around the world. That's made Carrasco particularly aware of the global reach of COVID-19, and how everyone will continue to be affected by it until vaccination is made available to all.
"We do work in a global environment and we're no longer siloed in our business operations," he said. "So if they're not vaccinated, we're going to be exposed, and the virus will keep mutating."
It's hoped the COVAX program will boost immunizations efforts in Africa, where vaccine uptake has been slow.
Carrasco said Transoft has held similar fundraising initiatives that have raised as much as $45,000.
"I'm hoping we can do the same this time around," he said. "The company is double matching and I'm double matching, so we hope to make a big dent."
COVAX was launched in April 2020 and is co-ordinated by the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, with UNICEF acting as a key delivery partner.
LISTEN | Milton Carrasco talks about why he wants to help raise money for vaccines on the CBC's The Early Edition:
With files from The Early Edition