More than one hundred economies have received life-saving COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, the global mechanism for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines on 8 April 2021. The milestone comes 42 days after the first COVAX doses were shipped and delivered internationally, to Ghana on 24 February.
COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-convened by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as key implementing partner, developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.
The President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer welcomed confirmation of COVAX delivering of COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
“As part of Team Europe the European Investment Bank is pleased to provide EUR 400 million for COVAX, representing the EIB’s largest ever support for global public health. COVAX has already provided vaccines to vulnerable groups and front-line workers and brought hope to millions more. COVAX demonstrates the benefit of global cooperation to tackle the shared challenge of COVID. Congratulations to the COVAX team and global partners in 100 countries around the world. Together we are ensuring equitable access to vaccines and together we are directing our efforts towards a global recovery.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
In December the European Investment Bank agreed €400 million of financing to support the participation of low and middle income economies in COVAX Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) and accelerate up-front investment essential to deliver vaccine doses as soon as they become available.
The EIB is in discussions with Gavi, the vaccine alliance, about new financing to further scale up access to COVID-19 vaccines by high-risk and vulnerable populations in low and middle-income countries.
Follow up EIB support could be agreed in the coming months following due diligence and subject to the final approval of the EIB’s governing bodies.
COVAX has now delivered more than 38 million doses across six continents, supplied by three manufacturers, AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Serum Institute of India (SII). Of the over 100 economies reached, 61 are among the 92 lower-income economies receiving vaccines funded through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
Despite reduced supply availability in March and April – the result of vaccine manufacturers scaling and optimising their production processes in the early phase of the rollout, as well as increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines in India – COVAX expects to deliver doses to all participating economies that have requested vaccines in the first half of the year.
According to its latest supply forecast, COVAX expects to deliver at least 2 billion doses of vaccines in 2021. In order to reach this goal, the COVAX Facility will continue to diversify its portfolio further, and will announce new agreements with vaccine manufacturers in due course.
Vaccines are accepted as the most convenient and rapid solution to pandemics. We are pleased to see that European Union is using their funds efficiently to end the Covid-19 pandemic. We are pleased to see that this rapidly approved financing, guaranteed by the European Fund for Sustainable Development is supporting access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in 92 low and middle-income countries.
Source: European Investment Bank