75 countries express interest in Global COVID-19 vaccine facility
—90 low income countries to also benefit
—keen on delivering 2 billion vaccines by 2021
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, July 15, 2020
As the world grapples with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) many have been looking for a silver lining in the form of a vaccine. The COVAX Facility, a mechanism designed to guarantee rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines is committing to provide the long-awaited solution.
COVAX is co-led by Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), working in partnership with vaccine manufacturers and governments.
According to a release issued by the WHO, 75 countries have so far submitted expressions of interest in the vaccines, to protect their populations and those of ninety other low-income countries by joining the facility. These include every continent and more than half of the world’s G20 economies.
“This early level of interest represents a tremendous vote of confidence in COVAX and our shared goal to protect people around the globe through the fair allocation of a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI.
“COVAX offers an innovative solution to the gravest public health crisis in living memory,” Hatchett added.
The release also stated that consultations will be held with all 165 countries, while the countries funding vaccines will be required to provide an upfront payment and commitment to purchase doses by the end of August to secure involvement in the COVAX Facility.
The goal of COVAX is to end the acute phase of the pandemic by the end of 2021 by delivering two billion doses of effective vaccines to all participating countries starting with healthcare workers then expanding to cover 20 percent of the population.
So far COVAX partners have reported significant progress. Seven of the nine vaccines supported by CEPI are in clinical trials. Also, a memorandum of understanding with AstraZeneca commits the pharmaceutical company to supply 300 million doses of vaccines.
In June, Gavi launched the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a to raise vaccine funds for developing countries. AMC is currently focused on raising a US$2 Billion, so far it has managed to raise US$600 Million.