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Gavi COVAX Facility

  • 30 Sep 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, Serum Institute of India (SII) has received funds from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, that would allow it to double its supply of Covid-19 vaccines (200 million doses) to India and other poorer countries as part of the Gavi COVAX facility. The vaccines will be priced at a maximum of USD 3 per dose.

  • SII (Pune), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, has agreements to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines, Covidshield (currently under clinical trials) developed by American vaccine maker Novavax, as well as Oxford University in collaboration with Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca.

Key Points

  • COVAX is one of three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which was launched in April 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission and France in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
    • The ACT Accelerator is a framework for collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. It is built on three main pillars: Vaccines (COVAX), Therapeutics, Diagnostics.
  • COVAX is an effort to ensure that people in all corners of the world will get access to Covid-19 vaccines once they are available, 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 developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers.
  • The COVAX facility continually monitors the Covid-19 vaccine landscape to identify the most suitable vaccine candidates, based on scientific merit and scalability, and works with manufacturers to incentivise them to expand their production capacity in advance of vaccines receiving regulatory approval.
  • Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a mechanism within the COVAX facility, is to ensure that the 92 middle- and lower-income countries that cannot fully afford to pay for Covid-19 vaccines themselves get equal access to Covid-19 vaccines as higher-income self-financing countries and at the same time.
    • India is a Gavi beneficiary and will, therefore, receive a certain proportion of the vaccines from the COVAX facility.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

  • Created in 2000, Gavi is an international organisation - a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.
  • Its core partners include the WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • In June 2019, the Gavi Board approved a new five-year strategy (‘Gavi 5.0’) with a vision to ‘leave no-one behind with immunisation’ and a mission to save lives and protect people’s health by increasing equitable and sustainable use of vaccines.

Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

  • CEPI is a global partnership launched in 2017 to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics.
  • CEPI was founded in Davos (Switzerland) by the governments of Norway and India, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the World Economic Forum.

Source: IE

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