Geneva: World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday said that 172 countries are engaged with the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility, which is a mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
In a media briefing, Tedros said, As of today 172 countries are now engaging with the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility, which has both the largest & most diverse #COVID19 vaccine portfolio in the world.
He added that at present there are nine vaccines that are part of this portfolio which is constantly being reviewed and optimised to ensure access to the best possible range of products.
Tedros said that discussions are ongoing with four more producers and a further nine vaccines are currently under evaluation for the longer term.
He expressed, “The Facility is the critical mechanism for joint procurement and pooling risk across multiple vaccines so that whatever vaccine is proven to be safe and effective – all countries within the Facility will be able to access them.”
“The world has so far invested USD12 trillion in keeping economies moving. Investing in the COVAX Facility is the fastest way to end this COVID19 pandemic and ensure a sustainable economic recovery.”
“Through the allocation framework, COVAX will ensure that low, middle and high-income countries all receive the vaccine in a timely way as soon as there is a supply of a safe and effective vaccine,” said WHO chief.
Tedros stated that a number of vaccines are now in the final stage of clinical trials and we all hope we’ll have multiple successful candidates that are both safe and effective.
Our only way out of this COVID-19 pandemic is together. There is light at the end of the tunnel and as I said last week, together we can do it, said Tedros.
The COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers.
Notably, it aims to deliver two billion doses of safe, effective vaccines that have passed regulatory approval and/or WHO prequalification by the end of 2021.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 confirmed infections across the world have increased to 2,34,56,597, as per the Johns Hopkins University. More than 8 lakh people have succumbed to the virus so far.