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ACT-Accelerator

  • 02 Apr 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Carl Bildt has been appointed as WHO Special Envoy for the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-Accelerator).

  • The ACT-Accelerator is a groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.

Key Points

  • ACT-Accelerator:
    • It was launched in the month of April, 2020 at an event co-hosted by the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), the President of France, the President of the European Commission, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
    • It brings together governments, scientists, businesses, civil society, and philanthropists and global health organizations.
    • It aims to end the pandemic, restore full societal and economic activity globally and facilitate high-level control of Covid-19 disease.
    • The ACT-Accelerator is organized into four pillars of work:
      • Diagnostics, treatment, vaccines and health system strengthening.
      • Each pillar is vital to the overall effort and involves innovation and collaboration.
  • COVAX:
    • COVAX is one of four pillars of the ACT Accelerator.
    • It is an effort to ensure that people in all corners of the world will get access to Covid-19 vaccines, regardless of their wealth.
      • The initial aim is to have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021, which should be enough to protect high risk and vulnerable people, as well as frontline healthcare workers.
    • It is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), working in partnership with vaccine manufacturers of developed and developing countries.
    • India’s Role:
      • India has started shipping Covid-19 vaccines to Africa under the COVAX facility.
      • Earlier, Serum Institute of India (SII) had received funds from Gavi and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to double its supply of Covid-19 vaccines (200 million doses) to India and other poorer countries as part of the Gavi COVAX facility.
  • Significance of ACT-Accelerator:
    • It is a crucial time for ACT-Accelerator when the world is rolling out vaccines against Covid-19, introducing new diagnostics and scaling up life-saving oxygen and corticosteroids for severe disease.
    • It will help in addressing the uneven distribution of vaccines globally and the emergence of new variants of concern.

Corticosteroids

  • Corticosteroids are a class of drug that lowers inflammation in the body. They also reduce immune system activity.
  • Corticosteroids ease swelling, itching, redness, and allergic reactions, thus used in the treatment of diseases like asthma, arthritis, lupus, allergies etc.
  • Corticosteroids resemble cortisol, a hormone naturally produced by the body’s adrenal glands. The body needs cortisol to stay healthy.
    • Cortisol is a major player in a wide range of processes in the body, including metabolism, immune response, and stress.

Source: DTE

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