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EU set to contribute €1bn to COVAX

EU had already pledged €500m to the international vaccine-sharing facility

The European Commission has announced that the EU will double its contribution to the international vaccines-sharing facility COVAX, with an additional pledge of €500m.

The additional €500m contribution is made up of a new €300m EU grant and €200m in guarantees by the European Fund for Sustainable Development plus (EFSD+).

The new funds double the EU’s previous €500m commitment to COVAX, consisting of a €100m grant and a €400m in guarantees from the EU budget.

In total, the EU is now set to contribute €1bn overall to COVAX, in a bid to bolster the facility’s target of delivering 1.3 billion vaccine doses to 92 low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2021.

“Last year, as part of our coronavirus global response, we committed to ensuring universal access to vaccines everywhere on earth, for everyone who would need them. COVAX is best placed to help us reach this goal,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.

“This is why we decided to double the European Commission's contribution to COVAX, to €1bn. With this new financial boost we want to make sure vaccines are soon delivered to low- and middle-income countries. Because we will only be safe if the whole world is safe,” she added.

COVAX is the vaccine pillar of the World Health Organization's (WHO) ACT Accelerator – a collaborative initiative co-led by the WHO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) which aims to accelerate development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.

The COVAX facility is designed to bolster procurement of promising COVID-19 vaccines to ensure the ‘best possible prices, volumes and timing for all countries’.

Last week, the leaders of the G7 pledged to increase their financial commitments to the ACT Accelerator and COVAX Facility with an extra $7.5bn.

“We welcome the G7’s leadership and focus on advancing COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment, in addition to their commitments to increase manufacturing capacity and share genomic sequencing information so that we can accelerate our work and continue to provide the tools the world so urgently needs,” said Richard Hatchett, chief executive officer of CEPI.

“There is a moment of opportunity that we must now seize to collaborate in our efforts to stop the devastation of this pandemic,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

23rd February 2021

From: Healthcare

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