Geneva, 3 November 2020 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in its capacity as the legal administrator of the COVAX Facility, yesterday convened the first meeting of the COVAX Shareholders Council. The COVAX Shareholders Council, which is comprised of all self-financing participants and will be self-organising, is a key component of Facility governance. More than 200 participants from 67 countries joined the half-day virtual meeting.
The meeting, which was exceptionally co-chaired by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Andrew Witty pending appointments made by the self-financing participants, discussed, among other things, updates on Facility progress, possible terms of reference (ToRs) for the Council, as well as the process for finalising ToRs and appointments – anticipated to occur over the next few weeks.
“This is a significant milestone for the COVAX Facility,” said Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “In just a few short months we have moved from design to implementation, thanks to unprecedented collaboration from countries and organisations around the world. Reflecting that same spirit of co-creation in governance – ensuring all participating economies’ perspectives are part of the solution – will be critical to shaping and implementing a COVAX Facility that works for everyone, everywhere. We are only safe if we are all safe.”
Following on from a series of briefings for AMC-eligible economies hosted by Gavi and partners last week, the first meeting of the COVAX AMC Engagement Group is anticipated to take place in the coming weeks. The AMC Engagement Group is the Facility governance body comprised of participants and stakeholders in the Gavi COVAX AMC.
Gavi is coordinating the design and implementation of the COVAX Facility, a global mechanism which seeks to procure, equitably allocate and deliver 2 billion doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021. 94 higher-income economies have already joined as self-financing members of the Facility, joining 92 low-and middle-income economies who will have their participation supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC.
The COVAX Facility is part of COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, the World Bank, Civil Society Organisations and others. COVAX is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to economies of all financial means.