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Covax – an initiative for everyone

Germany is supporting the Vaccine Alliance Gavi and its campaign with more than 2 billion euros – here you can find out why.

A Rwandan health worker is vaccinated.
A Rwandan health worker is vaccinated. © dpa

What is Gavi, what is Act-A, what is Covax?

Gavi stands for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, a public-private partnership set up in 2000 with the aim of supplying all countries of the world with sufficient vaccine. Covax is a purchasing pool for coronavirus vaccines established within the framework of ACT-A by Gavi, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Cepi, with the participation of more than 190 nations and territories. Covax is one of the four pillars of the ACT Accelerator (Access to Covid-19 Tools), which was founded in April 2020 to combat the pandemic worldwide. The other three pillars are vaccine research, treatment of the sick and the general strengthening of health systems.

What goals does Covax pursue?

Rich countries join Covax and help pay for poorer countries, which thus receive vaccines free of charge or at heavily subsidized rates. In 2021, Covax aims to distribute two billion doses of vaccine to vaccinate first medical personnel worldwide and then vulnerable groups in a second step. These priority groups make up about 20 percent of the world's population.

The first shipment of vaccines from the Covax campaign is unloaded from a plane in Rwanda.
The first shipment of vaccines from the Covax campaign is unloaded from a plane in Rwanda. © dpa

What has Covax achieved so far?

The initiative began delivering the first doses on 1 March, and in the first week of March, 624,000 doses of vaccine were delivered to Angola, 324,000 to Cambodia, 36,000 to the Gambia, 36,000 to Lesotho, 240,000 to Rwanda, 324,000 to Senegal, 828,000 to Sudan, 14,000 to Moldova and 526,000 to the Philippines. The plan is to supply 142 states with a combined total of 234 million doses of vaccine by the end of 2021.

How is Germany supporting the fight against the pandemic?

Germany is one of the biggest financial contributors to the initiatives. Gavi itself received 600 million euros in support between 2006 and 2020. Act-A already received 600 million euros in 2020, and a further 1.5 billion euros from Germany will be made available for ACT-A in 2021. Most of this amount will go to Covax, and a certain proportion will be used for diagnostics and medications against the disease. This means that one in five euros at Covax comes from Germany, and one in three from the EU. In addition, Germany has provided a further 450 million euros for humanitarian aid in connection with the response to the pandemic.