The European Commission has confirmed its participation in the COVAX Facility to ensure equitable access to affordable COVID-19 vaccines.
Team Europe will be contributing an initial €230m through a loan from the European Investment Bank, backed by the same amount in guarantees provided by the EU budget. This is equivalent to reserves or options to buy 88 million doses and the EU would transfer these to eligible Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) countries. The contribution is complemented by €170m in financial guarantees from the EU budget.
The announcement follows the European Commission’s expression of interest to take part in the scheme on 31 August and pledge to contribute €400m.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “It is not enough to find a vaccine. We must make sure that citizens around the world have access to it. Our strong commitment to the COVAX Facility is another sign to all citizens who need the vaccine that we stand with them, wherever they are. No one is safe until everyone is safe.”
The COVAX facility
The COVAX Facility, co-led by Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, is working to accelerate development of COVID-19 vaccines and is aiming to ensure equitable access to the vaccines for all countries across the globe. Team Europe will be offering expertise and resources to the COVAX Facility to help with this task.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Being part of the COVAX Facility means ensuring its success and providing access to vaccines for low and middle income countries. It means ensuring access not only for those who can afford it – but to all citizens globally. And it means showing solidarity and global leadership. It is only together that we will be able to overcome COVID-19.”
Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, said: “With this contribution to COVAX, the EU is demonstrating that we are serious about leaving no one behind. The future vaccines for COVID-19 should not be a luxury for the rich but a global public good. We need to guarantee that those that most need it have access to it irrespective of where they live.”