SWITZERLAND – The global vaccine alliance Gavi has secured US$4.8 billion in funding pledges for the vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX, falling just short of its target.

The secured fund falls short of the group’s initial goal. The organization has stated that an additional $5.2 billion will be required to continue distributing COVID-19 vaccinations on a large scale as part of its global vaccination campaign for poorer countries.

It puts us in a very comfortable position,” Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao, Gavi’s managing director for resource mobilization, said during a virtual media briefing.

The organization previously stated that it required an additional US$5.2 billion to continue delivering COVID-19 vaccines on a large scale as part of its global program that provides vaccines to poorer countries.

Saraka-Yao stated that innovative finance instruments contributed US$2.1 billion to the total, sovereign pledges from individual countries contributed US$1.7 billion, and multilateral development banks contributed US$1 billion.

COVAX has delivered 1.42 billion doses to 145 countries so far. Scaling up COVAX deliveries is seen as critical to meeting a World Health Organization target of vaccinating 70% of the population in poorer countries by mid-2022.

Gavi CEO Seth Berkley stated that the program had sufficient vaccines and that the main challenge was to assist countries in increasing their storage and distribution capacity.

That’s something we’re working on hard now. And that’s where this critical infusion of capital will make a big difference,” he stated.

According to Reuters, COVAX was having difficulty distributing more than 300 million doses in February.

Svenja Schulze, Germany’s development minister, said at a press conference on Friday that the country would contribute 1.1 billion euros (US$1.2 billion) this year to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), which includes vaccines, tests, and treatments.

This means Germany will once again contribute its fair share to ACT A showing our commitment to advancing global solutions to global challenges,” Schulze said.

Gavi, MedAccess and the Open Society Foundations partner

Meanwhile, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), MedAccess, and the Open Society Foundations have formed a risk-sharing facility agreement to assist countries in obtaining additional COVID-19 vaccine doses.

The US$200 million loss-sharing agreement is intended to allow countries to protect a larger proportion of their population while also supporting COVAX’s ambitions to make COVID-19 vaccine procurement more sustainable and tailored to specific country needs.

The 2022 Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) Summit aims to raise at least US$5.2bn in urgent financial support for COVAX. Around US$1bn of the US$5.2bn is expected to come from cost-sharing.

The AMC provides free COVID-19 vaccines to 92 of the world’s poorest countries, assisting them in meeting the goals outlined in their national vaccination strategies.

MedAccess will be responsible for a US$100 million procurement guarantee, allowing COVAX to order more doses from manufacturers on behalf of AMC countries participating in cost-sharing.

Countries benefit from lower prices per dose negotiated for a variety of COVID-19 vaccines by purchasing through COVAX.

The Open Society Foundations, in collaboration with MedAccess, will provide a further procurement guarantee of up to US$100 million through the Soros Economic Development Fund.

This will allow COVAX to respond to urgent requests for additional doses from countries in the event of a future demand spike.

The COVAX Cost-Sharing Mechanism was established in July 2021 in collaboration with Gavi, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

The European Investment Bank has since joined and committed €300m (US$326.3 million) in financing for countries in need of additional doses.

Liked this article? Sign up to receive our regular email newsletters, focused on Africa and World’s healthcare industry, directly into your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE