BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION INK DEAL TO ACCELERATE VACCINE PRODUCTION
A coalition of 16 pharmaceutical companies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have signed an agreement to cooperate on vaccine manufacturing and to scale up production at an unprecedented speed, ensuring that approved vaccines are more broadly accessible and distributed as early as possible.
Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said “One thing I’ve learned studying the history of pandemics is that they create a surprising dynamic when it comes to self-interest and altruism. Pandemics are rare cases where a country’s instinct to help itself is tightly aligned with its instinct to help others. The self-interested thing and the altruistic thing–making sure poor nations have access to vaccines–are one and the same.”
He added “A number of countries, most recently the United Kingdom and Canada, are good models for what other wealthy nations should do. They have donated enough money for COVAX, the vaccine pillar of the ACT-Accelerator, to procure, probably, hundreds of millions of vaccine doses for poor countries. But more will be needed and I hope wealthy nations will continue to be generous.”
The ACT-Accelerator works to speed up collaborative efforts among existing organizations to end the pandemic. It is a framework for collaboration that has been designed to bring key players around the table with the goal of ending the pandemic as quickly as possible through the accelerated development, equitable allocation, and scaled up delivery of tests, treatments and vaccines, thereby protecting health systems and restoring societies and economies in the near term.
The World Bank, on other hand, has unveiled plans this week for a significant financial commitment to support developing countries to purchase COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are available.
World Bank President David Malpass said that once the plans are ratified by stakeholders, “having up to US$ 12 billion available in finance will be a game changer because once a safe and effective vaccine is available, it will allow people to resume their lives with confidence.”
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