Geneva, 26 March 2020 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance applauds the commitment of the G20 Leaders chaired by Saudi Arabia “to provide immediate resources to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance” to contribute to global efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gavi also welcomes the G20 commitment to work together “towards the rapid development, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostics, antiviral medicines, and vaccines,” to ensure their availability to those who need them.
“The demand for a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19, when it is ready to be deployed, will be much higher than the available supply,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “The disease has now spread to at least 60 Gavi-supported countries and we expect to see further rapid spread in the coming weeks. We are working with partners to accelerate the development, manufacturing and availability of a COVID-19 vaccine to the most vulnerable people so that all those that need access can be protected in the longer term,” he added.
Gavi will seek to secure donor support and raise at least US$ 7.4 billion at its third donor pledging conference, which is planned for 3-4 June 2020. This funding will allow Gavi to continue routine immunisation programmes and strengthen the health systems in the world’s poorest countries until 2025. Life-saving routine immunisation services are likely to be disrupted with health systems overstretched in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is vital that continued support is provided to the countries that can ill-afford to face additional outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Gavi also stands ready to support the international effort to combat COVID-19 and deploy the vaccine, when it’s available.
Following its Board recommendation, Gavi is exploring the use of its innovative finance mechanisms - International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) and Gavi’s Advance Market Commitment - to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine development and access. Gavi will also enable its Matching Fund to be rapidly deployed for quick assistance from private sector partners to scale up funding for proven technologies to use in pandemic response: from mass communications, to logistics, to data and surveillance needs. In addition, countries that qualify for Gavi support are now able to quickly reallocate up to 10% of grants extended to them under Gavi’s health system and immunisation strengthening programme to respond to the threat posed by COVID-19.
Gavi is responding to the call from G20 leaders, as well as from G7 leaders, who during their exceptional meeting on COVID-19 on 16 March committed to “support the launch of joint research projects funded by both public and private resources, and the sharing of facilities, towards rapid development, manufacture and distribution of treatments and a vaccine, adhering to the principles of efficacy, safety, and accessibility.” The G7 leaders’ statement also called for “no geographical vacuum” to be allowed in the global preparedness and response, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, stands ready to support all partners in this global effort.