As part of the European Union's Coronavirus Global Response, the European Commission has announced a commitment to mobilize €400 million ($477 million) in support of the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX).
Launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) as part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, COVAX is a global collaboration aimed at accelerating the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. By negotiating with a diversified portfolio of vaccine suppliers, COVAX plans to purchase two billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.
The commitment to mobilize up to €400 million in guarantees in support of the facility and its underlying objectives is part of a EU joint agreement that includes the European Commission, EU member states, and European financial institutions, notably the European Investment Bank. Detailed terms and conditions for the EU's participation and contribution will be worked out in the coming days and weeks.
"Global collaboration is the only way to overcome a global pandemic," said European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. "Under the Coronavirus Global Response and the Global Goal Unite campaign, we have seen the world come together as one. Almost €16 billion [has] been pledged so far and the most talented researchers and organizations are pooling their efforts to deliver vaccines, tests, and treatments, which will be our universal, common good. Today, the commission is announcing a €400 million contribution to COVAX for working together in purchasing future vaccines to the benefit of low- and middle-income countries. I'm confident this will bring us closer to our goal: beating this virus, together."
(Image credit: Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations)