Berwick MP hails historic commitments to global vaccine access

world leaders make historic commitments to provide equal access to vaccines for all

The Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK, raised us$ 8.8 billion from 32 donor governments and 12 foundations, corporations and organisations to immunise 300m children and support the global fight against covid-19

  • US$ 567 million also raised for new innovative financing instrument to provide access to COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries

On 4th June, World leaders pledged a total of US$ 8.8 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, far exceeding the target of US$ 7.4 billion (approximately £6bn). 

The funding will help immunise 300 million more children in the world’s poorest countries against diseases like measles, polio and diphtheria by the end of 2025. It will also support health systems to withstand the impact of coronavirus and maintain the infrastructure necessary to roll out a future COVID-19 vaccine on a global scale.

The pledges were made at the Global Vaccine Summit 2020, hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary of State for International Development, Anne-Marie Trevelyan. Representatives from 52 countries, including 35 Heads of State, joined leaders from global health organisations, the private sector, vaccine manufacturers and civil society organisations to support the Vaccine Alliance’s work protecting almost half the world’s children against deadly, preventable diseases.

Gavi, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF have warned that 80 million children under the age of one are at risk of disease due to disruptions to vital immunisation programmes because of coronavirus.

The UK remains the Vaccine Alliance’s largest donor, pledging the equivalent of £330 million per year over the next five years. Other top donors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Norway, Germany and the United States. Eight countries made their first ever pledge to Gavi, including Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Finland, Greece, New Zealand, Portugal and Uganda.

As well as supporting the routine vaccination of hundreds of millions of children in lower-income countries from infectious diseases, the new support will also be used to help lower-income countries meet the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic by strengthening health systems and vaccine distribution.

 

Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, said: “Britain has been honoured to host this summit today. You can count on our full contribution as together we rise to fulfil the greatest shared endeavour of our lifetime - the triumph of humanity over disease, now and for the generations that follow.

“As we make the choice today to unite and forge a path of global co-operation, let us also renew our collective resolve to find the vaccine that can defeat coronavirus.”

 

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said:

“To beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs more than breakthrough science. It needs breakthrough generosity. And that’s what we’re seeing today as leaders across the public and private sectors are stepping up to support Gavi – especially Prime Minister Johnson.

“When COVID-19 vaccines are ready, this funding and global coordination will ensure that people all over the world will be able to access them.”

Over the next five years, we will also see the largest investment in immunisation ever made by lower-income countries.

Gavi-supported countries will contribute US$ 3.6 billion towards the cost of buying vaccines – more than double the amount for the 2016-2020 period and more than 40% of the total estimated cost of supplying vaccines to these countries. They are also expected to invest around US$ 6 billion in immunisation service delivery costs over the same period. The dire economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may, however, disrupt these estimates.

 

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK International Development Secretary, said:

“As the world battles against coronavirus, today’s UK-hosted Global Vaccine Summit has been a superb example of what we can achieve when we all take action together.

“We know vaccines work, and I’m incredibly proud that we’ve exceeded Gavi’s pledging target to help protect 300 million more children from deadly illnesses through routine immunisation. This will help stop the spread of infection around the world, now, and in the future.”

The world’s biggest vaccine manufacturers also committed to continue supplying the billions of doses needed to continue increasing vaccine coverage across Africa and Asia. The Vaccine Alliance is one of the world’s largest and most successful public-private partnerships, and the wider private sector continued to show support for its mission with the announcement of more than US$ 70 million of new pledges and partnerships, bringing new technology, networks and expertise to help solve some of global health’s most intractable problems.

The Global Vaccine Summit also saw the launch of the Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines (COVAX AMC), a new innovative financing instrument to provide access to COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries. This is the first building block towards a global mechanism to ensure equitable access to future COVID-19 vaccines. US$ 567 million was raised today in initial seed money for the AMC from 12 donors.

 

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said:

“As we celebrate a historic day we must also turn towards our next challenge: ensuring universal access to COVID-19 vaccines.

“One thing that has been made all too clear over the past few months is that this disease does not respect borders, which is why this global problem requires a global solution. After today’s success, we now need support to help ensure the most vulnerable people in low- and middle-income countries – as well as those in high- and upper middle-income countries – have access to COVID-19 vaccines.”