'Nepal to get COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as wealthier nations'

Published On: August 8, 2020 03:29 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

A total of 92 countries to benefit from the international vaccine alliance

KATHMANDU, Aug 8: The international vaccine alliance, Gavi, has announced to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Nepal at the same time as the wealthier nations.

A meeting of the Gavi board held at the end of July approved to secure doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries including Nepal through Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

Although GAVI, a public-private partnership, has announced plans to secure COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine alliance has said to cover at least part of the cost. "The 92 low- and middle-income countries and economies approved by the Gavi Board will be able to access vaccines through the COVAX AMC, which will also cover at least part of the cost," reads a statement issued by the vaccine alliance.

According to the statement, the COVAX AMC forms part of the COVAX Facility, a mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

“We are facing the most severe contraction of the economy since World War II, and this crisis will have a terrible impact on the poorest and emerging economies,” the statement quoted Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, chair of the Gavi Board, as saying.

“These countries will have limited resources to access future COVID-19 vaccines: it is our duty to support them. Without this support, the majority of the world’s population will continue to suffer from this disease even after we’ve developed a tool to tackle it. We now can stop this from happening.”

Likewise, Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, said that the vaccine alliance has the framework in place to ensure that every economy, particularly the poorest nations, are not left behind in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine. “This disease has spread at lightning speed across the globe, which means nobody is safe until everybody is safe. That’s why we now need support and vital funding to ensure that, once a safe, effective vaccine is ready, we can work on protecting the world and not just the lucky few. Gavi will work with governments, international organizations, manufacturers and civil society organizations to ensure doses get to those who need them.”

According to the vaccine alliance, the goal is to deliver two billion doses of safe, effective vaccines to all participating countries including the 92 AMC-eligible economies by the end of 2021. "Once a vaccine has been approved by regulatory agencies and/or prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO), the COVAX Facility will then purchase these vaccines with a goal to try and initially provide doses for an average of 20% of each country’s population, focusing on health care workers and the most vulnerable groups. Further doses will be made available based on financing, country need, vulnerability and potential threat, and a buffer of doses will also be maintained for emergency and humanitarian use."

Leave A Comment