Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – As many as 172 economies are now engaged in discussions to potentially participate in COVAX, a global initiative aimed at working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, once they are licensed and approved.
COVAX currently has the world’s largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio, including nine candidate vaccines, with a further nine under evaluation and conversations underway with other mayor producers, according to World Health Organization’s (WHO) statement received by Indonesia Window here on Wednesday.
COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the WHO.
They are working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers.
COVAX is the only global initiative working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.
In order to be able to secure enough doses of vaccines to protect the most vulnerable populations, such as health workers and the elderly, the next step for the partnership is to confirm potential self-financing participants’ intent to participate by 31 August and to turn these into binding commitments to join the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX Facility) by 18 September, with first upfront payments to follow thereafter, and no later than 9 October 2020.
“Equal access to a COVID-19 vaccine is the key to beating the virus and paving the way for recovery from the pandemic,” Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said.
“This cannot be a race with a few winners, and the COVAX Facility is an important part of the solution, making sure all countries can benefit from access to the world’s largest portfolio of candidates and fair and equitable distribution of vaccine doses,” he added.
The COVAX Facility is a Gavi-coordinated pooled procurement mechanism for new COVID-19 vaccines, through which COVAX will ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines for each participating economy, using an allocation framework currently being formulated by WHO.
The COVAX Facility will do this by pooling buying power from participating economies and providing volume guarantees across a range of promising vaccine candidates, allowing those vaccine manufacturers whose expertise is essential to large scale production of the new vaccines, to make early, at-risk investments in manufacturing capacity, providing participating countries and economies with the best chance at rapid access to doses of a successful COVID-19 vaccine.
Reporting by Indonesia Window