World Bank partners COVAX to accelerate vaccine access

Adepeju Adenuga

The World Bank, in partnership with COVAX, has stated that it would accelerate COVID-19 vaccine supply for developing countries through a new financing mechanism that builds on Gavi’s newly designed AMC cost-sharing arrangement.

According to a statement by the bank, this would allow AMC countries to purchase doses beyond the fully donor-subsidised doses they are already receiving from COVAX.

COVAX plans to make available up to 430 million additional doses, or enough to fully vaccinate 250 million people, for delivery between late 2021 and mid-2022.

The scalable mechanism brings together COVAX’s ability to negotiate advance purchase agreements with vaccine manufacturers with the World Bank’s ability to provide predictable financing to countries for vaccine purchase, deployment and broader health systems investments.

Speaking about the mechanism, CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr. Seth Berkley, said, “This important and timely financing mechanism, made possible now by the World Bank and Gavi teaming up on the AMC cost-sharing arrangement, will allow COVAX to unlock additional doses for low- and middle-income countries.

“As we move beyond initial targets and work to support countries’ efforts to protect increasingly large portions of their populations, World Bank financing will help us advance further towards our goal of bringing COVID-19 under control.”

World Bank Group President, David Malpass, said, “Accessing vaccines remains the single greatest challenge that developing countries face in protecting their people from the health, social, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This mechanism will enable new supplies and allow countries to speed up the purchase of vaccines.

“It will also provide transparency about vaccine availability, prices, and delivery schedules. This is crucial information as governments implement their vaccination plans.”

The statement added that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group had deployed over $157bn to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history.

The bank is also supporting over 50 low- and middle-income countries, more than half of which are in Africa, with the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, and is making available additional $20bn in financing for this purpose until the end of 2022.

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