• Goal of new global ACT Accelerator is to make COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines available to everybody that needs them as quickly as possible
  • Alongside Gavi, the other foundational groups within the collaboration are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), The Global Fund, UNITAID, the Wellcome Trust and the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Gavi is helping countries to tackle the pandemic and maintain life-saving immunisation programmes and is ready to contribute to the global response at all stages from development through to production and delivery

Geneva, 24 April 2020 - Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance today joins the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a global collaboration of global health organisations in an unprecedented effort to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to new COVID-19 technologies. Gavi Board Chair Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will be acting as Special Envoy for the ACT Accelerator, alongside Sir Andrew Witty.

The group will seek to implement, alongside evidence-based public health measures, innovative diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines at record speed and at record scale in a bid to defeat COVID-19.

The motivation behind establishing such an unprecedented mobilisation of actors is the belief that as long as COVID-19 threatens any country, the entire world is at risk and therefore every effort must be made to avoid mistakes of the past by ensuring protection is extended to everyone on earth, not just those with the means to afford it.

Today’s announcement will be followed on 4 May by an online pledging event hosted by the European Union. This and other fundraising aims to help address immediate funding gaps related to the development and roll out of innovative and equitable solutions for vaccines, diagnostics and treatments. On 4 June, the UK government will host the Global Vaccine Summit, an online virtual event in which Gavi aims to secure at least US$ 7.4 billion for its 2021 to 2025 investment in immunisation in low-income countries.

Gavi is already helping countries maintain life-saving immunisation programmes as well as provide emergency funding to meet the threat of COVID-19. From an initial tranche of US$ 200 million, nearly US$ 40 million has already been granted to help 29 countries procure vital supplies of diagnostic and protective equipment as well as provide training and other support.

A successful Gavi replenishment, in addition to immunising a further 300 million children and saving 8 million lives, will mitigate the pandemic by:

  • Providing further flexibilities to allow the purchase of diagnostics, PPE and other supplies.
  • Maintaining immunisation during the crisis as the first line of defence to prevent multiple outbreaks and further loss of life from preventable diseases.
  • Rebuilding immunisation systems so that, once the crisis is over, catch-up immunisation campaigns can begin and COVID-19 vaccines can be introduced.

Gavi’s ability to play a leadership role in the global response to COVID-19 lies in its unique ability to:

  • Help identify the most promising vaccine candidates based on efficacy and accessibility, leveraging 20 years’ experience in which it has introduced nearly 500 vaccines into some of the most challenging environments on Earth.
  • Employ innovative financing mechanisms to help funnel money rapidly to the most promising vaccine candidates.
  • Use its track record working with the world’s vaccine manufacturers and other industry stakeholders to create the right conditions that enable production at the necessary volumes to meet demand.
  • Utilise partnerships and infrastructure in the countries where it operates to ensure vaccines are delivered and made available to each and every community.

“The global health community today is facing the biggest public health crisis in a century,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “We need to keep on track gains that have collectively saved millions of lives from preventable death. Gavi has twenty years’ experience in accelerating the development, production and delivery of vaccines: the world has the structures and the expertise to defeat COVID-19, today we have the commitment.”

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