The Advance Market Commitment (AMC) investment program was launched in Washington on Thursday to fund WHO’s COVAX initiative. This virtual event was hosted by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Chairman of the Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) Jose Manuel Barroso, and USAID Administrator Jerome Bernton.
The timely implementation of the COVAX project requires additional donor contributions of $ 2 billion. The demand for COVID-19 vaccines in countries around the world has grown significantly as new and more dangerous variants of COVID-19 proliferate, and therefore the need for additional funding has become even more urgent. As Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said at the event, for the United States to help fund the COVAX program is “not just an opportunity, but our duty”:
“From day one, President Biden has made the fight against COVID a number one priority for his administration. And doing everything to ensure that everyone has broad and equal access to vaccines is an integral part of achieving this goal. To date, the US has invested $ 2 billion to support the COVAX program. This is the largest donation COVAX has ever received. And we will donate an additional $ 2 billion to this project over the course of 2022 because people around the world must have access to thoroughly tested, safe vaccines. ”
COVAX is a unique initiative of WHO, the GAVI alliance, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation. It is an international mechanism with over 190 countries participating. Thanks to COVAX, vaccines are not limited to wealthy countries with strong economies. Under the terms of the program, high-income countries subsidize so-called “funded states”.
“Let’s be honest. We are facing vaccine nationalism and the world is far from equitable distribution of vaccines. We are facing huge challenges such as limited supply and export restrictions. This is why it is so important that donors who have excess doses share them through COVAX with other countries as soon as possible. The emergence of new variants of the virus also brought additional problems with the fight against the pandemic, the spread of COVID around the world. This is why we need a fully funded GAVI-COVAX initiative to deliver vaccines to low-income countries as quickly as possible, ”said GAVI Chairman Jose Manuel Barroso.
According to previously announced plans, within the framework of COVAX by the end of 2021, 2 billion doses of vaccine should be produced and distributed around the world.
UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed called on all countries to come together to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic:
“We must work together now — at a critical stage in the epidemic — to rebuild the economy and return to sustainable development goals to build a healthier and safer world for all of us. The United Nations and especially the World Health Organization are doing everything necessary to support the COVAX program. This is an unprecedented collaboration that brings together UN structures, governments, civil society and the private sector. “
To date, the COVAX project has been deployed on all continents. In total, 38 million doses of vaccines have been delivered to more than 100 countries around the world. So far, these are two drugs – Pfizer / BioNTech and AztraZeneca. In the post-Soviet space, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan received vaccines against COVAX.