COVAX has welcomed G7 leaders’ pledge to share these doses internationally in support of equitable access, building on the momentum of the G20 Global Health Summit and the Gavi COVAX AMC Summit. In so doing, global leaders have reaffirmed their support for COVAX as “the primary route for providing vaccines to the poorest countries.”
In light of an urgent supply gap, COVAX is seeking to secure as many shared doses as possible immediately and will work with countries that have stepped up to share doses as quickly and equitably as possible. Additionally, it welcomes continued support for exporting in significant proportions, promotion of voluntary licensing, and not-for-profit global production.
Multilateral development banks are being urged by COVAX to release funding to aid countries in preparing their health systems for the upcoming large-scale roll-out of vaccines.
“This pandemic has shown us that we cannot set national against international interests. With a disease like COVID-19, we have to ensure that we get it under control everywhere. There is still much to do to get vaccines in arms and ensure our R&D allows us to stay one step ahead of the virus. But for today we give pause and celebrate a watershed moment of political alignment and collaboration,” said Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI (the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations).
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, added, “Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines represents the clearest pathway out of this pandemic for all of us — children included. UNICEF thanks G7 member states for their significant pledges and continued support. However, much work remains to continue to ramp up both the amount and the pace of supply to the rest of the world, because when it comes to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, our best interests and our best natures align. This crisis will not be over until it is over for everyone.”
“I applaud the Group of Seven’s leadership in sharing doses with COVAX and urge them – and others to share doses now, not later in the year, when our need is greatest,” said Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO of AMREF Health Africa.