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EU to contribute €400m to WHO’s COVID-19 vaccine facility

Contribution will go towards ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines

The European Commission (EC) has announced that it will contribute €400m to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 vaccine facility, COVAX.

The COVAX facility is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO. It aims to ensure equitable access to affordable COVID-19 vaccines across the globe.

“Global collaboration is the only way to overcome a global pandemic. Under the Coronavirus Global Response and the Global Goal Unite campaign, we have seen the world come together as one,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EC.

“Almost €16 billion have been pledged so far and the most talented researchers and organisations are pooling their efforts to deliver vaccines, tests and treatments, which will be to our universal, common good.

“Today (31 August), the Commission is announcing a €400 million contribution to COVAX for working together in purchasing future vaccines to the benefit of low and middle income countries. I'm confident this will bring us closer to our goal: beating this virus, together,” she added.

At the same time, the EC also confirmed its interest in participating in the COVAX facility, adding that the EU’s participation in COVAX will be complementary to the ongoing EU negotiations with vaccine companies.

COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the ACT-Accelerator, a global collaboration focused on accelerating the development, production and equitable access for COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.

The facility aims to buy two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021, by negotiating with a portfolio of vaccine suppliers that are using different technologies for the development of their respective vaccines.

Earlier this month, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned against vaccine nationalism and called on all countries to work collectively to end the pandemic.

Ghebreyesus also encouraged countries to take into account the WHO’s recommendation for equitable allocation of COVID-19 vaccines, adding that doses should be given proportionally to all countries participating in its ACT-Accelerator.

“Only by securing equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine across the world will we end the pandemic and ensure a sustainable recovery; working with our partner countries is crucial so that we can build back up better and healthier,” said Jutta Urpilainen, commissioner for international partnerships at the EC.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

1st September 2020

From: Healthcare

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