When a COVID-19 Vaccine is available, most of the world will have access to it thanks to a unique platform for international cooperation called The COVAX Facility.
The COVAX Facility, which is also sometimes referred to as the COVAX Pillar, is essentially a platform for pooled investments in the development, manufacture and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. At time of recording, 172 countries have entered into an initial agreement with COVAX. This includes about 80 wealthier countries that would be able to purchase the vaccine on their own and 92 lower income countries which would not be able to self-finance the procurement of a vaccine.
The goal of the COVAX Facility is to provide 2 billion doses of a vaccine to cover 20% of the population of all participating countries by the end of 2021.
COVAX is a co-lead by three entities: The World Health Organization, GAVI–The Global Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Pandemic Preparedness Innovations.
Of these organizations, GAVI–The Vaccine Alliance administers COVAX.
On the line with me today to explain how COVAX works is the Managing Director for Country Programs at GAVI Thabani Maphosa. We kick off discussing how the COVAX Facility was formed before having a broader conversation about how it works and why global cooperation on the development and distribution of a vaccine is a far more effective way to end this pandemic than countries going it alone.
This episode is part two of a series examining how the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to new forms of international cooperation to accelerate the end of the pandemic. Part one, released last week is my interview with the CEO of the Coalition for Pandemic Preparedness Innovations, CEPI, which has made early and ongoing investments in the development and manufacture of the vaccines. These CEPI-supported vaccines will be made equitably available to countries that are participating in the COVAX Facility. This includes some of the more promising vaccines that are already in advanced human trials.
If you have 30 minutes and want to learn how a new form of international cooperation has emerged to confront this pandemic, have a listen.