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The World Bank is working towards standardising COVID-19 vaccine contracts

The World Bank is providing $12bn to help poor countries purchase and distribute vaccines, tests and treatments for COVID-19

The World Bank is working to standardise COVID-19 vaccine contracts between pharmaceutical companies and countries, according to Reuters.

The international financial institution is also urging vaccine makers to disclose where doses are set to be delivered to, in an effort to ensure sufficient supplies are available for low-income countries.

On Friday (19 February), the World Bank president David Malpass told Reuters that he expects the board of the bank to have approved $1.6bn in funding for COVID-19 vaccines for 12 countries by the end of March.

He added that the World Bank is currently working with local governments to identify and address gaps in distribution capacity.

The World Bank is providing $12bn as part of a funding programme to help poor countries purchase and distribute vaccines, tests and treatments for COVID-19.

As part of its COVID-19 response, the bank is aiming to facilitate access to vaccines by helping countries to procure doses through various approaches, including country mechanisms and multilateral mechanisms currently led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Gavi through the COVAX Facility.

The bank is also helping countries to prepare for vaccine deployment and strengthen their health systems by providing financing to support policies for safe and effective deployment.

Last week, leaders of the intergovernmental organisation G7 pledged to increase their contribution to the COVAX Facility, which is aiming to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines across the globe.

In a joint statement, the G7 leaders increased their overall commitment to the facility to $7.5bn.

In response to the G7 pledge, the World Bank president welcomed the ‘statement of cooperation’, adding: “Only when access to vaccinations is expanded to everyone can we resume development progress after the devastating impacts of the pandemic on people and economies.”

“We join the G7 in thanking the UK for its focus on vulnerable countries as part of its G7 presidency," Malpass said.

The WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also welcomed the new commitments.

“There is a growing movement behind vaccine equity and I welcome that world leaders are stepping up to the challenge by making new commitments to effectively end this pandemic by sharing doses and increasing funds to COVAX,” said Adhanom Ghebreyesus

“This can’t be business as usual and there is an urgent need for countries to share doses and technology, scale-up manufacturing and ensure that there is a sustainable supply of vaccines so that everyone, everywhere can receive a vaccine,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

22nd February 2021

From: Healthcare

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