Supply versus funding?
To vaccinate 70 percent of the 7.8 billion people in the world will require about 11 billion vaccine doses – assuming many two-dose vaccines. Pharmaceutical companies have pledged to produce 12 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021. If the vaccines produced were all distributed according to need, we would be on the way to herd immunity.
COVAX hopes to distribute 2 billion COVID vaccine doses to 92 lower income countries over the next year; but to move toward universal access for people in lower-income countries will require $33 to $50 billion over the next 18 months.
Why twenty percent?
Health workers and vulnerable (elderly) groups represent about twenty percent of the population in most countries. The World Health Organization views twenty percent as the first stage of pushing on toward herd immunity worldwide as vaccines become available. COVAX will need to purchase and distribute many more vaccines to reach herd immunity in lower-income countries.
Can I make a difference?
A people-to-people campaign will allow COVAX-AMC to expand its reach to more vulnerable populations in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This campaign moves beyond vaccine nationalism, vaccine diplomacy, and geo-political concerns. A mass of small donations from ordinary people signals that we are all in this together, and recognise our common humanity.
Can health systems deliver?
This is a concern in some countries, particularly where COVID-19 has infected healthcare workers. COVAX is partnering with the World Health Organization and Unicef to match best practices in national vaccination campaigns with the health infrastructure in a country. Most countries have regularly conducted mass childhood vaccination campaigns and will build on this experience. Gavi The Vaccine Alliance, which hosts COVAX, has provided vaccines to the same countries for the last decade.
Will vaccines get to the people?
COVAX-AMC exists to provide for low- and lower-middle-income countries. Each country develops a plan that commits to vaccinating health workers and the most vulnerable first. A built-in monitoring function ensures that countries use funds appropriately.
Why give globally?
The roll-out in many countries has been uneven and messy. Governments of wealthy countries have committed to fully vaccinate their populations by the end of this year. That said, the social and economic impacts of the COVID pandemic has fallen on some groups worse than others. Many of us are volunteering and contributing to local efforts to mitigate COVID’s impact and you may be doing the same. We hope that you will give locally and globally if you are able. No amount is too small; each contribution signals solidarity.
What about overheads?
COVAX will spend all the money you contribute to provide vaccines for 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries. They will not spend any of your money on overheads. COVAX pays for all administrative costs from its general operating budget and has regular independent audits.
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