WHO’s global COVAX plan: All you need to know about Covid-19 vaccine access plan
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday said some 172 countries are engaging with the COVAX facility designed to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, but more funding is needed and countries need to make binding commitments.
The WHO had earlier urged countries to join a global pact aimed at ensuring less wealthy countries have access to Covid-19 vaccines, warning about the risks from so-called ‘vaccine nationalism.’
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said initially, when there will be limited supply of Covid-19 vaccines, it’s important to provide the vaccine to those at highest risk around the globe. He said this included health workers on the front lines of the pandemic, who were “critical to saving lives and stabilising the overall health system”.
Here is everything you need to know about the COVAX plan:
• The COVAX global vaccines facility is a plan designed to pool funds from wealthier countries and non-profits to develop a Covid-19 vaccine and distribute it equitably around the world. Its aim is to deliver 2 billion doses of effective, approved Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.
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• The plan is led by the WHO, along with the Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
• COVAX is part of a bigger plan, called the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, that works to ensure that vaccines, treatments, diagnostic tests and other healthcare resources are broadly available to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
• WHO officials said nations wishing to be part of the global COVAX plan have until August 31 to submit expressions of interest with confirmation of intention to join due by September 18, and initial payments due by October 9.
(with agency inputs)