World leaders join Japan PM Suga, pledge to provide COVID-19 vaccines to everyone

World leaders joined forces on Wednesday at the at the “One World Protected”- Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) Summit hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Gavi Board Chair, José Manuel Barroso to pledge their support to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) securing US$ 2.4 billion, reaching a total of US$ 9.6 billion for COVID-19 vaccine procurement. In addition, donors have pledged US$ 775 million for vaccine delivery.

This 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% 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.

Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said, “It’s been an honor to co-host the Gavi COVAX AMC Summit today and to contribute a large part of the remaining funding gap in order to deliver vaccines, a ray of hope, to as many people as possible and as early as possible, throughout the world, in an equitable manner”.

“I want to thank Prime Minister Suga and the Japanese people for their leadership in helping drive the global response to COVID-19,” said José Manuel Barroso, Chair of the Gavi Board. “COVAX is the largest and most complex multilateral distribution of vaccines ever undertaken and the solution aimed at ensuring the most at-risk people, everywhere, are protected from the virus.”

The United States of America hosted the launch of the Gavi COVAX AMC Investment Opportunity in April and today, Vice President Kamala Harris, attended the Summit reiterating U.S. support as a key Gavi partner for more than two decades. Its commitment of US$ 4 billion for procurement and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines for lower-income countries is helping ensure COVAX is equipped to reach its goals.

Alongside the financial pledges, first dose sharing donations were announced by Belgium, Denmark and Japan as well as additional pledges from Spain and Sweden, boosting short term supplies by over 54 million vaccine doses. 

The European Investment Bank has stepped up to support African Union countries with EUR 300 million financing to access vaccines via the COVAX cost-sharing scheme – leveraging domestic resources to procure safe and efficacious vaccines through COVAX. 

This EIB EUR 300 million financing announcement is the path forward towards an aggregate commitment of US$ 1 billion from multilateral development banks and international financing institutions to support a cost-sharing initiative enabling AMC-eligible economies to use domestic resources to purchase additional vaccines through COVAX. This will facilitate them to take advantage of COVAX’s global logistics system, globally negotiated volume and prices, and other critical benefits such as the No Fault Compensation Scheme.  

Elsewhere in the programme, commitments were made to free up supply chains and remove bottle necks that restrict or slow down the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, raw materials and components. Vaccine manufacturers have reaffirmed their support to COVAX as the only global solution to the acute phase of the pandemic.

The Summit was also an opportunity for leaders to reflect on the challenges, successes and lessons learned as the Gavi COVAX AMC marks one year since its launch; and to look ahead to potential scenarios to address the pandemic and bolster global health security for the future.

The pledges, commitments and support from the global community at the Summit will enable COVAX to continue working towards keeping everyone safe.

“Bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic is the most pressing challenge of our time – and nobody wins the race until everyone wins, said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “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.”

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