COVAX Global Vaccines Facility – Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID – 19) – WHO Briefing (24 August 2020)

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World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that as of today, “172 countries are now engaging with the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility, which has both the largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio in the world.” Speaking to reporters today (24 Aug) in Genva, Tedros said, “at present there are nine vaccines that are part of this dynamic portfolio; which is constantly being reviewed and optimised to ensure access to the best possible range of products. Even now, discussions are ongoing with four more producers. And a further nine vaccines are currently under evaluation for the longer term.” He also said, “vaccine nationalism only helps the virus,” adding that “the world has so far invested 12 trillion dollars in keeping economies moving. Investing in the COVAX Facility is the fastest way to end this pandemic and ensure a sustainable economic recovery.”

The COVAX Facility is the vaccine arm of an initiative to speed up the development of COVID-19 treatments and make them accessible to people worldwide, known as the ACT-Accelerator. Through the facility, countries will jointly procure and pool risk across multiple vaccines, eventually leading to the equitable rollout of safe and effective treatment against the disease. The WHO chief reported that a number of vaccines are now in the final stage of clinical trials, with the hope that many will be both safe and effective. Mr. Tedros explained that due to the initial limited supply, vaccine doses would go to those at highest risk of the disease such as health workers, people over 65 years old, or who face a greater risk of death. Following this, supply will be expanded based on an assessment of each country’s vulnerability to the virus.

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