The European Commission said on Monday, that it would be participating in the COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility) initiative with a contribution of 400 million euros in efforts to ensure equal access to affordable Covid-19 vaccines.
Led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the COVAX initiative foresees the purchase from several pharmaceuticals of 2 billion doses of potential Covid-19 vaccines for all of the world’s countries by the end of 2021.
The EU said it would be joining the action as part of the Coronavirus Global Response effort with financial support through guarantees.
“Today, the Commission is announcing a 400-million-euro contribution to COVAX for working together in purchasing future vaccines to the benefit of low and middle income countries,” said EC President Ursula von der Leyen.
“Almost 16 billion euros have been pledged so far and the most talented researchers and organizations are pooling their efforts to deliver vaccines, tests and treatments, which will be our universal, common good,” she added.
According to Reuters, the Commission is in the meantime negotiating advance purchases of coronavirus vaccines with several drugmakers on behalf of its members states.
Aiming to accelerate the development and manufacture of vaccines against Covid-19 and to guarantee fair access to all countries, COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO.
The Commission went on to note in its statement that the “detailed terms and conditions for the EU’s participation and contribution will be worked out in the coming days and weeks”.
It also added that Europe was ready to put its expertise and resources at work within COVAX to “accelerate and scale-up development and manufacturing of a global supply of vaccines for citizens across the world, in poor and rich countries”.
“It is only by working together globally, in solidarity, that we can defeat the coronavirus. We need an inclusive international approach,” said Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for Health and Food Safety.