Here's how your next trip can help get a COVID-19 vaccine to someone in need.

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Here's a new way to help the world get vaccinated against COVID-19: purchase a trip on any Expedia Group app and the company will make a donation to Unicef to help get more coronavirus vaccines to people around the world.

"We know traveling won't be the same until the whole world is open to travel, and so, to get there as quickly as possible, we must all help accelerate rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines," Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern said in announcing the initiative.

Expedia is pledging up to $12 million to Unicef, the world's largest single buyer of vaccines, to help get coronavirus vaccines to even the farthest-flung places operating on the tightest budgets. Each purchase made through an Expedia Group app — a collection that includes Hotels.com, Orbitz, Vrbo, Hotwire, and Travelocity — will trigger a $2 donation to Unicef's global COVID-19 response efforts.

"It is essential that everyone, everywhere has access to vaccines." Kern said, describing a lack of access to COVID-19 vaccines in parts of the world as "the most significant obstacle to all people being able to roam the world freely."

United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) employees are briefed upon the arrival of the first batch of coronavirus vaccines, at Khartoum airport in the Sudanese capital, on March 3, 2121.
United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) employees are briefed upon the arrival of the first batch of coronavirus vaccines, at Khartoum airport in the Sudanese capital, on March 3, 2121.
| Credit: ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images

As it stands now, nearly 30% of the world's population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to data collected by the Oxford University Our World in Data project. About 15% of the world is fully vaccinated, but in low-income countries, that figure stands at just 1.1%, the data shows. That inequity is shouldering some of the blame for the increasingly contagious coronavirus variants that are circulating around the world.

Expedia said it will donate a minimum of $10 million to Unicef, regardless of the number of bookings made through Expedia apps. "I hope other companies, and anyone else who can, will join us in accelerating vaccine rollout, fighting global inequity and igniting a movement that will help bring the world together," Kern said in a note to customers posted on Expedia.com.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.