Monday, June 21, 2021

World Leaders Unite To Ensure Global Access To Covid-19 Vaccines

World leaders joined forces together at the “One World Protected” – Gavi COVAX  Advance Market Committement (AMC) Summit,  hosted by the Government of Japan and Gavi.

The Vaccine Alliance, raised US$ 2.4 billion from nearly 40 donor governments, the private sector and foundations, exceeding the funding target and bringing the total pledged to the COVAX AMC to US$ 9.6 billion to date.

The funds raised will enable Gavi to secure 1.8 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for lower-income countries participating in the COVAX Facility in 2021 and early 2022.

This is enough to protect nearly 30% of the adult population in AMC-eligible economies. The funds raised will also support COVAX to diversify its vaccine portfolio in times of supply uncertainty and new variant emergence and to plan the scenarios and strategy for public health needs for 2022 and beyond.

“Bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic is the most pressing challenge of our time – and nobody wins the race until everyone wins,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “Today, as we looked back on one year of COVAX, we saw that global leaders clearly recognise the need for equitable access and support the principle that ability to pay should not determine whether someone is protected from this virus.”

The European Investment Bank is stepping up to support African Union countries with an additional EUR 300 million financing to access vaccines via the COVAX cost-sharing scheme – leveraging domestic resources to procure safe and efficacious vaccines through COVAX.

Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank: “Over the last year global cooperation, including advanced funding from the European Investment Bank, has enabled COVAX to deliver 70 million doses in 126 countries, but access remains a privilege. Today’s One World Protected summit is mobilising urgent action essential to tackle the significant shortfall and increase overall financing. This will ensure that the global COVAX roll-out delivers billions of vaccines in 2021 and early 2022 to tackle COVID-19, save lives and help communities and business to return to normality. As part of Team Europe the EIB is currently working to increase its financing to COVAX, alongside backing new investment to strengthen health and economic resilience to the pandemic around the world.”

President von der Leyen, President, European Commission: “To accelerate safe and effective vaccination everywhere we all need to step up efforts. This is the only way to get out of the current crisis and to prevent a new pandemic. Team Europe is investing in COVAX, both financially and by sharing vaccines. Because we believe this is the best way to ensure universal, fair and affordable access to COVID19 vaccines. Our common goal is to leave no one behind. The EU, together with the European Investment Bank, will reorient 300 million euro to COVAX. This is Team Europe’s contribution to AVATT-COVAX’s cost-sharing rapid finance scheme. This scheme will help vaccine purchases in Africa. And it will foster links between COVAX and the African Union.”

This EIB EUR 300 million financing is the path forward towards an aggregate commitment of US$ 1 billion from Multilateral Development Banks and International Financing Institutions to support a cost-sharing initiative enabling AMC-eligible economies to use domestic resources to purchase additional vaccines through COVAX. This will facilitate them to take advantage of COVAX’s global logistics system, globally negotiated volume and prices, and other critical benefits such as the No Fault Compensation Scheme.

Commitments were also made to free up supply chains and remove bottle necks that restrict or slow down the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, raw materials and components. Vaccine manufacturers have reaffirmed their support to COVAX as the only global solution to ending the acute phase of the pandemic.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General: “Vaccinating the world relies on full support for COVAX. Fully financing the Advance Market Commitment is not charity. Only by working together can we end the pandemic and start building back our global community,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “This June, we must build on the momentum from this summit to secure COVAX the doses and funds needed to overcome its immediate supply gap and continue to build a sustainable pipeline into the future.”

The Summit was an opportunity for leaders to reflect on the challenges, successes and lessons learned as Gavi COVAX AMC marks one year since its launch; and look ahead to potential scenarios to address the pandemic and bolster global health security for the future.

The pledges, commitments and support from the global community at the Summit will enable COVAX to continue working towards keeping everyone safe.

The first international delivery of doses of COVID-19 vaccines supported by COVAX arrived in Ghana on February 24. As of today, more than 77 million doses have been shipped to 127 countries across six continents. Doses shared by countries will be used to make up for COVAX’s short-term supply disruption, which is expected to last into the third quarter of 2021.

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