World leaders announced their commitment to support the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) through securing $ 2.4 billion, reaching a total of $9.6 billion for COVID-19 vaccine procurement.
The announcement came during the One World Protected Summit, held on Thursday, which was hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and Gavi Board Chair José Manuel Barroso.
Donors have also pledged $775 million for vaccine delivery.
The announced funding will allow the COVAX AMC to secure 1.8 billion fully subsidised doses for delivery to lower-income economies in 2021 and early 2022.
This is enough to protect nearly 30 percent of the adult population in AMC-eligible economies.
The funds raised will also support COVAX to diversify its vaccine portfolio in times of supply uncertainty and new variant emergence and to plan the scenarios and strategy for public health needs for 2022 and beyond.
“Bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic is the most pressing challenge of our time – and nobody wins the race until everyone wins. Today, as we looked back on one year of COVAX, we saw that global leaders clearly recognise the need for equitable access and support the principle that ability to pay should not determine whether someone is protected from this virus,” said CEO of Gavi Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi
On its side, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced it is stepping up to support African Union (AU) countries with an additional €300 million financing to access vaccines through the COVAX cost-sharing scheme.
During the event, EIP’s president Werner Hoyer said that 2020 global cooperation, including advanced funding from the EIB, has enabled COVAX to deliver 70 million doses in 126 countries, but access remains a privilege.
“Today’s One World Protected summit is mobilising urgent action essential to tackle the significant shortfall and increase overall financing. This will ensure that the global COVAX roll-out delivers billions of vaccines in 2021 and early 2022 to tackle COVID-19, save lives and help communities and business to return to normality. As part of Team Europe the EIB is currently working to increase its financing to COVAX, alongside backing new investment to strengthen health and economic resilience to the pandemic around the world,” Hoyer explained.
President of European Commission von der Leyen elaborated that stepping up efforts is required to accelerate safe and effective vaccination everywhere.
“This is the only way to get out of the current crisis and to prevent a new pandemic. Team Europe is investing in COVAX, both financially and by sharing vaccines. Because we believe this is the best way to ensure universal, fair and affordable access to COVID19 vaccines. Our common goal is to leave no one behind,” she illustrated.
She announced that the EU, together with the EIB, will reorient €300 million to COVAX, clarifying that it is Team Europe's contribution to AVATT-COVAX's cost-sharing rapid finance scheme.
This scheme will help vaccine purchases in Africa. And it will foster links between COVAX and the African Union, according to von der Leyen.
World Health Organisation (WHO)’s director-general Tedros Adhanom said that vaccinating the world relies on full support for COVAX.
“This June, we must build on the momentum from this summit to secure COVAX the doses and funds needed to overcome its immediate supply gap and continue to build a sustainable pipeline into the future,”
The first international delivery of doses of COVID-19 vaccines supported by COVAX arrived in Ghana on 24 February.
As of 3 June, more than 77 million doses have been shipped to 127 countries across six continents.
Doses shared by countries will be used to make up for COVAX’s short-term supply disruption, which is expected to last into the third quarter of 2021