Geneva, 19 November 2021 – As part of a 409,600-dose pledge to COVAX, Rwanda has become the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines donated by Luxembourg, receiving 12,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This commitment is part of a Team Europe pledge to donate 500 million doses to lower-income economies, with the majority going through COVAX.
Luxembourg had previously pledged EUR 2 million and is increasing its contribution by EUR 2 million in funding to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC), which aims to procure and distribute doses to 92 lower-income economies around the world. The country’s support to COVAX is part of a multi-year, un-earmarked commitment to global vaccination, as a longstanding Gavi donor.
Franz Fayot, Luxembourg minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, underlined the importance of vaccine sharing in the context of the pandemic: “Many countries still have very little access to vaccines and struggle to relaunch their economies. A high vaccination rate worldwide is key for returning back to normal on a global scale, and we are happy to support our partner Gavi in this endeavour.”
“A Gavi donor since 2005, Luxembourg has been a strong supporter of COVAX since the beginning,” added Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao, Gavi Managing Director for Resource Mobilisation, Private Sector Partnerships and Innovative Finance. “I am very happy to see the first doses donated by Luxembourg reaching Rwanda today.”
These doses donated by Luxembourg are produced by the AstraZeneca manufacturing network. Donating through COVAX helps to increase vaccine coverage, ensures that no dose goes to waste, and helps to bring an end to the acute phase of the pandemic. The design and operationalization of the COVAX dose sharing mechanism is being supported by a contribution of CAD 5 million from Canada.
The donation of doses via COVAX are enabled via tripartite agreements between Gavi, manufacturers, and donating countries. COVAX shipments to countries are enabled by delivery partners UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).
Over 1.3 billion doses have already been pledged to COVAX by a number of countries in response to short-term supply challenges and the rise of new variants. Working with donor governments to operationalise growing numbers of dose-sharing pledges, COVAX expects to see more deliveries of donated doses in the weeks and months to come.