World leaders pledge to further support equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines and COVAX – World
Leaders pledge funding, dose donations, country readiness and delivery support and global manufacturing scale-up, to enable equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines
To improve access for low-income economies, the United States will contribute 500 million additional doses of Pfizer vaccine to be delivered via COVAX, starting in 2022, and Sweden will provide an additional 2.1 billion SEK (approximately 243 million US dollars) until 2021. and 2022
New dose commitments from the European Union, including Italy and Spain, as well as Sweden, Denmark and Japan mean more doses will be available for COVAX participants in 2021 and 2022
Geneva / New York / Oslo September 23, 2021 – World leaders attending the COVID-19 Global Summit hosted by the United States reiterated their commitment to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries through COVAX – noting that equitable access is essential to achieve end of the acute phase of the pandemic. Building on the momentum and global solidarity generated over the past eighteen months by various commitments, notably during summits organized by the European Commission, the G20 under the Saudi and Italian presidencies, the United Kingdom (United Kingdom) United), including the G7 under the British Presidency, the United States, and the Prime Minister of Japan, yesterday’s summit saw further promises made to COVAX and fair access.
As host of the Summit, the United States presented a global immunization target and, as part of its pledge, pledged 500 million additional doses of Pfizer vaccine to be delivered to low and lower middle income countries via COVAX. These doses are in addition to the US-facilitated Pfizer 500 million-dose agreement announced in June and over 90 million excess doses shared through COVAX, bringing the total US doses to be delivered through COVAX to nearly 1.1 billion doses. With deliveries of previously promised doses underway, these additional doses will be available from January 2022. In addition, the US Corporation for the Financing of International Development (DFC) will provide more than $ 383 million of political risk insurance to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) to facilitate worldwide shipping.
The United States and the European Union have announced a joint program to fight the global pandemic, reiterating their commitments to share doses with COVAX and support critical preparedness activities, and calling on other countries to do the same. – by emphasizing in particular the importance of a predictable and effective dose. sharing to maximize process sustainability and minimize dose wastage. Based on previous commitments, Team Europe has pledged to share 500 million doses by mid-2022.
Highlighting the close partnership between the African Union / AVAT and COVAX in delivering doses to African countries, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called on high-income countries to swap places in production queues and to support the AU and COVAX in their common goal of increasing coverage. across the African continent.
In addition to the US $ 285 million that Sweden has already pledged to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), the funding mechanism that provides access to fully donor-funded doses for 92 low-income economies, Sweden announced that a new pledge of SEK 2.1 billion (approximately US $ 243 million) of cash contributions and donated doses will be made available to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for eligible economies for the ‘AMC until 2021 and 2022.
Along with these financial commitments, several countries have pledged to provide donations of additional doses to countries around the world, including through COVAX, Spain promising 7.5 million additional doses, Italy committing to provide 30 million additional doses by the end of the year, and Japan, which hosted the Gavi COVAX AMC “One World Protected” summit in June 2021, pledging around 60 million doses. In addition, Denmark announced this week at the United Nations General Assembly that it would double its dose donation pledge, bringing the total to 6 million doses pledged to be shared.
José Manuel Barroso, Chairman of the Board of Gavi, said: “This summit marks a big step forward in the global response against COVID-19 and a big step forward for multilateralism. I would like to thank President Biden and all leaders for their commitment to global access to vaccines and I urge all partners and stakeholders to increase their support for COVAX, so that we can achieve our goal of ending to the acute phase of this pandemic as quickly as possible. “
Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) “Science has made enormous strides in the fight to save lives, restore the global economy and end the pandemic. We must now address the central moral failure of the global response to the pandemic – the lack of equitable access to the vital tools we have developed. This will require continued investments in R&D so that we are able to deploy more vaccines, more effectively and create equity among countries of all income levels in access to these vital vaccines. “
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “I am grateful to President Biden and world leaders for their commitment to immunize the world. However, what we need to be successful is a truly durable and foolproof support that is delivered now, not 6 or 12 months down the road. If we are to achieve our goals of immunizing 10% of the population of all countries by the end of this month, 40% by the end of 2021 and 70% by the middle of this month. next year, we need to dramatically increase access to vaccines now.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said: “We welcome the renewed commitment of world leaders to deliver vaccine doses to low-income countries. We welcome the US pledge of an additional 500 million doses next year, as well as the announcements made by the European Union, Denmark, Japan, Italy and Spain, and look forward to seeing those pledges. happen urgently. With just 12% of pledges made earlier this year turning into real doses, low-income countries can’t wait any longer. We urge dose-sharing countries to speed up their donation plans. “
Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, said: “With the increase in variants and the current gap in equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, we urgently need to vaccinate those most at risk all over the world. world. We cannot afford to further delay the delivery of vaccines to the most vulnerable – it will mean a continuation of this pandemic and its impact on all of our lives. “
COVAX recently released a supply forecast update, which indicates that while COVAX deliveries to countries are accelerating and will continue to increase significantly through the end of the year, significant risks remain.
As a result, COVAX partners have issued an urgent call to action – for the lifting of all export restrictions, for manufacturers to meet their commitments to COVAX and ensure transparency on delivery schedules and queues. waiting. COVAX is also calling on countries that are ahead of the manufacturers’ queues and have already achieved high coverage to cede their place in the queue to COVAX and the low and middle income participants it supports, and the expansion, acceleration and systematization of dose donations to provide larger volumes, lead times and shelf lives, allowing countries to better prepare for deployments.
So far, COVAX has delivered over 300 million doses to 142 economies, and according to the latest forecast, a total of approximately 1.2 billion doses will be available for low-income economies supported by market engagement. anticipated COVAX (AMC) by the end of 2021. This is sufficient to protect 20% of the population, or 40% of all adults, in the 92 AMC economies except India. The COVAX key milestone of two billion doses released for delivery is now expected to be reached in the first quarter of 2022.