The United Nations urgently requests $ 15 billion to buy vaccines for poor countries

The Secretary-General of the United Nations called during a virtual summit on Wednesday for rich countries to "immediately" provide $ 15 billion to finance the purchase and distribution of vaccines against Covid-19 in the future in the countries most in need. .

And an international cooperation mechanism has already been established under the auspices of the World Health Organization to ensure that developed countries do not have a monopoly on medicines, detection tests, and vaccines that are subsequently produced against the Corona virus. But this mechanism, called Act-Accelerator, has received only 3 of the $ 38 billion needed to purchase two billion doses of vaccines, 245 million drugs and 500 million tests detected by the end of 2021.

By comparison, the United States and the European Union together have already ordered more than two billion doses of the vaccine from several manufacturers, and they will be the first to receive these vaccines, starting this year, for Americans, regardless of the results of ongoing clinical trials.

On Wednesday, some countries announced additional funding for the Act-Accelerator, including Germany (100 million euros in addition to the 675 million it has already pledged) and the United Kingdom (up to 250 million pounds sterling in addition to the 250 million that has already been committed).

An urgent need is to finalize requests with vaccine manufacturers who have already signed multiple contracts to deliver billions of doses to developed countries.

167 countries have joined the International Vaccine Purchase and Distribution Mechanism called "Kovacs" (under the umbrella of ACT-Accelerator). Among these countries, 92 low and middle income countries will receive free doses, and 75 rich countries will pass through Kovacs to purchase the vaccine themselves.

The organizers of Kovacs, which are privately funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, believe that its large size allows it to negotiate lower prices. But so far, it has only signed partnerships or contracts to obtain 500 million doses of two potential vaccines, one being prepared by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, the other by Novax.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, stressed that it is urgent to "not miss the opportunity," stressing that any vaccine must be of "global public benefit."

Bill Gates said during the summit that low and middle-income countries, which represent half of the world's population, will only be able at this stage to immunize 14% of their population.

Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said his lab will allocate 500 million doses to the poorest countries by mid-2021, through a partnership with the Gates Foundation.

 

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