What is COVAX?
COVAX is a global effort in which the World Health Organisation (WHO) with support from funding partners, is distributing vaccines to countries across the globe, to ensure all countries including the poor have access to the critical doses.
It is one of the three pillars of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which is a global collaboration to accelerate development, production and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatment and vaccines.
It was launched in April 2020 by WHO, European Commission and France in response to Covid-19 pandemic.
It brings together governments, global health organisations, manufacturers, scientists, the private sector, civil society and philanthropy, with the aim of providing innovative and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as the key implementing partner, developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, and others.
· To have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021
· Subject to funding availability, funded countries will receive enough doses to vaccinate up to 20 per cent of their population in the longer term.
· The primary focus of the Gavi COVAX AMC is to ensure that the 92 middle- and lower-income countries that cannot fully afford to pay for COVID-19 vaccines themselves get equal access to COVID-19 vaccines as higher-income self-financing countries and at the same time.
Some of the African countries that have benefited so far include:
· Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
· Côte d’Ivoire