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