A Replenishment Model for WHO

Faced with inadequate and uncertain support for a meaningful increase in assessed contributions from WHO member states, the Sustainable Financing Working Group has been left to contend with what seems to be an inevitable dependence on the replenishment model to shore up finances for the organization. Without enough resources from its member states, WHO may be forced to depend on donor funds to meet its mandate, sources familiar with the discussions say. In its fourth meeting this year, the working group met this week to review essential functions of WHO and the ways to fund these in a sustainable manner. … Continue reading A Replenishment Model for WHO

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To improve access to vaccines, Gavi will ask countries to resell to COVAX

The board of Gavi – The Vaccine Alliance will meet next week on the 28th of September to consider key strategic issues around the COVAX Facility including enabling reselling of vaccine doses by countries, and preparing for a potential administration of booster doses by participating countries. In June, we reported on Gavi Board’s approval on the way the COVAX Facility engages with Self-Financing Countries and the plans to service low- and middle-income countries. The new goal of covering 70% of the global population is significant for Gavi, that will also soon review the operations for the COVAX Facility going forward. … Continue reading To improve access to vaccines, Gavi will ask countries to resell to COVAX

The politics of surplus production & vaccine scarcity

A SNAPSHOT OF VACCINE INEQUITY: SURPLUS IN TIMES OF SCARCITY    When a source alerted us to a potential glut in vaccine production at the end of 2021, back in January this year, it was hard to believe it. At that time the glaring inequities in the access to medical products, was already making global headlines. That COVID-19 vaccines production could touch 12 billion doses in a few months is as hard to believe today, even though the numbers look increasingly convincing. For all the advances in predictive analyses, streamlined logistics, we will still not be able to get vaccine doses from countries that … Continue reading The politics of surplus production & vaccine scarcity

A Moment of Reckoning for the COVAX Facility

Gavi – The Vaccine Alliance, that legally administers the COVAX Facility, has had to do some serious stock-taking in rethinking its role in the international response to COVID-19. This week the Gavi Board approved proposals, among others, to redefine the way the COVAX Facility engages with Self-Financing Countries and the way it plans to service low- and middle-income countries in the future. It is also an acknowledgement of the limitations faced by the structure that has been set up and constrained by the donors of the COVAX Facility. According to Gavi, over 80 million doses from COVAX have been delivered to 129 … Continue reading A Moment of Reckoning for the COVAX Facility

The demand for vaccine indemnity from countries & the terms of COVAX

Vaccine Indemnity and The COVAX Facility Some manufacturers have demanded indemnity against the introduction of vaccines, from countries. We wanted to know how this ties in with The COVAX Facility’s no-fault compensation fund. Here are some responses from a spokesperson from Gavi – The Vaccine Alliance. (See our earlier story on these issues) [GHF] 1. Why did Facility leave the question of indemnity to individual countries participating in the Facility? The foundational goal of COVAX is global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, which includes working to ensure that ability to pay is not a barrier to access. As we strive towards this goal at … Continue reading The demand for vaccine indemnity from countries & the terms of COVAX

At Risk: COVAX Plans to Vaccinate 20% of the People in LMICs

The challenges for the world’s most vulnerable in accessing vaccine doses to protect themselves from a devastating pandemic gets more acute every week. Only 0.3% of the vaccine supply is going to low-income countries. COVAX has so far delivered 65 million doses to 124 countries. The surge in cases has compromised global vaccine supply and there is already a shortfall of 190 million doses to COVAX by the end of June, WHO has said. UNICEF was more direct in encapsulating the failure of the international mechanism: “The COVAX Facility will deliver its 65 millionth vaccine dose this week. It should’ve been at least its … Continue reading At Risk: COVAX Plans to Vaccinate 20% of the People in LMICs

COVAX counts on dose-sharing to counter vaccine crunch, vaccine diplomacy makes it worse

DOSE-SHARING: THE PLAN B FOR COVAX THAT RESTS ON BENEVOLENCE In December 2020, Gavi spelt out the COVAX principles on dose-sharing for COVID-19 vaccines. Authorities had hoped that countries who had bought more doses than they require would be amenable to sharing the doses through the COVAX Facility. This was, what now seems like a far less challenging time, before the emergence of the variants, subsequent waves of the pandemic, vaccine shortages, export bans and legal threats between countries and manufacturers. Not only has the situation exacerbated, unforeseen supply challenges have emerged for the COVAX facility in the context of the resurgence … Continue reading COVAX counts on dose-sharing to counter vaccine crunch, vaccine diplomacy makes it worse

The cautionary tale of the COVAX Facility

With every passing month, the unanticipated challenges facing the COVAX Facility mounts. Take the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been reckoned as the backbone of the Facility. Rising hesitancy towards this vaccine in the EU and elsewhere because of rare incidents of blood clots, despite the safety of the vaccine vouched by regulators, is only one concern. Following production shortages in the EU that broke out earlier in the year, the barriers to access AZ doses continue – the latest being on account of Indian government’s decision to temporarily hold the export of the vaccine to quell the surge of COVID-19 infections in the country. A press release issued by … Continue reading The cautionary tale of the COVAX Facility

The COVAX Allocation Algorithm for Vaccine Distribution

The logic underpinning the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines secured by The COVAX Facility The COVAX Facility is using an allocation algorithm to distribute COVID-19 vaccines globally. The underlying logic determines how countries line up to receive vaccines in a period of acute scarcity when less than 250 million vaccine doses expected to be distributed among more than 7 billion people worldwide in the first half of 2021 through the Facility. COVAX published its first round of allocations earlier this week that seeks to deliver 237 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to 142 countries. According to WHO’s allocation mechanism, the first phase will … Continue reading The COVAX Allocation Algorithm for Vaccine Distribution

Reading the COVAX forecast

Even as Geneva-based health organizations announced forecasts for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, countries in some parts of the world fear that their promised deliveries for vaccines were now being reprioritized by some manufacturers affiliated with the COVAX Facility. There is not enough clarity yet on how many countries will be affected in the short term. This story parses through the official statements made by health agencies and contrasts it with publicly available information which suggest that bilateral deals between vaccines manufacturers and countries have begun to have an impact on vaccine deliveries for the COVAX facility as many had … Continue reading Reading the COVAX forecast