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Gavi says 76 wealthy countries have committed to COVAX vaccine facility

Countries have signed intent to joining COVID-19 vaccine initiative

Gavi vaccines alliance’s chief executive Seth Berkley has revealed that 76 high-income countries have now committed to joining the COVAX facility for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The COVAX facility, which is also co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), is an initiative which is aiming to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

According to Berkley, over 70 nations have now signed up to the facility, including Japan, Norway and Germany, to procure vaccines through the COVAX facility for their respective nations.

“We have, as of right now, 76 upper middle income and high income countries that have submitted confirmations of intent to participate - and we expect that number to go up,” Berkley told Reuters.

Berkley added that high income countries who back the COVAX facility will help to finance vaccine purchases from their national budgets, and will partner with 92 low income countries through voluntary donations.

Earlier this week, the US said it would not join the facility because of the Trump administration’s objection to the WHO’s involvement.

In contrast, the European Commission (EC) announced that it will contribute €400m to the COVAX facility, and also confirmed its interest in participating in the initiative. The EU’s participation in COVAX is complementary to the ongoing EU negotiations with vaccine companies.

“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.

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.

Thee 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.

The deadline for countries to sign binding agreements to join the COVAX facility is 18 September.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

4th September 2020

From: Sales

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