Geneva, 24 November 2021 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) announced today that Switzerland has become the first country to respond to the COVAX call to action to trade places in manufacturers’ production queues, encouraging prioritisation of supply to COVAX and allowing COVAX participants earlier access to COVID-19 vaccine doses. Upon Gavi’s initiative, Switzerland and Gavi have respectively agreed with Moderna to swap the delivery of these doses based on their respective procurement contracts with the manufacturer.
Through this collaboration, 1 million doses of the Moderna vaccine originally planned to be delivered to Switzerland will instead be made available to COVAX in Q4 2021. Switzerland will then take COVAX’s place in the queue, and receive these doses later in 2022.
“I warmly welcome this important commitment from Switzerland and for setting an example on how to easily prioritise supply to COVAX participants,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, which leads on procurement and delivery for COVAX. “As the pandemic continues to impact all our lives, this collaboration shows that there is a quick and pragmatic way governments can ensure COVAX participants in lower-income countries have access to COVID-19 vaccines now. I encourage other governments to follow this example and work with COVAX and manufacturers to amend delivery schedules, ensuring commitments under COVAX’s purchase agreements can be fulfilled as a priority.”
As part of the largest and most complex vaccine rollout in history, COVAX has so far delivered more than half a billion doses to 144 countries. Despite initial supply setbacks, deliveries continue to accelerate steadily and will continue to do so through the end of the year and into 2022. As it enters its busiest period yet, COVAX is working closely with low- and lower-middle income countries to support readiness and uptake of these volumes. Initiatives like today’s announcement, which enable steady, predictable, prioritised supply to COVAX, make it easier for countries with more limited resources to plan ahead and implement successful COVID-19 vaccination campaigns to increase coverage rates.
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