2.2 billion euro for vaccines, diagnostic tools and medicines
The pandemic can only be overcome if it is brought under control all over the world. Germany thus opted early on to focus on finding joint responses to the pandemic in a spirit of solidarity. In keeping with the principle “nobody is safe until everybody is safe”, Germany co‑founded the Access to COVID‑19 Tools Accelerator (ACT Accelerator) last year. As the second largest donor to the ACT Accelerator at present, Germany has provided 2.2 billion euro to date. Most of this support is going to the international vaccine platform COVAX, while some is being used for diagnostic tools and medication to treat COVID‑19. By early September, a total of more than 250 million doses of the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and BioNTech vaccines had already been sent to 140 states.
Germany is providing 100 million vaccine doses
As Germany has sufficient vaccines to cover its needs and is keen to tackle supply shortages in global vaccine production, the German Government has been donating vaccines from its own stocks since the end of August. Germany will provide up to 100 million doses of vaccine to industrialising and developing countries, with most of the vaccines being made available through COVAX. Germany will thus help ensure better access to vaccines throughout the world.
As of 22 September, 5,306.960 doses were delivered to third countries, 1,712,000 through bilateral channels and 3,493,200 through the COVAX initiative. Some five million doses that are being made available bilaterally are due to be shipped to Viet Nam, Egypt and Ghana shortly. Some 4.75 million doses are in the process of being shipped via COVAX.
All in all, Germany has already donated more than 8 million doses of AstraZeneca to COVAX. In addition to Mauritania, Ethiopia, Togo, Tajikistan, the Sudan, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Botswana, Egypt and Ghana have also received vaccines. Additional shipments are due to arrive in these countries in the coming weeks.
The recipient states are selected by COVAX. To be eligible, they must both have a very urgent requirement and be able to immediately employ the vaccines in their vaccination campaigns.
The EU plans to donate at least 450 million vaccine doses, and the United States has donated approximately 160 million doses so far. The G7 intend to supply a total of at least 870 million doses by the end of 2022. The majority of these donations are to be given to COVAX, which knows conditions in the recipient countries best and can therefore distribute the vaccines fairly around the world. COVAX is currently supplying the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and BioNTech vaccines. It has also concluded a preliminary contract for 350 million doses of the Novavax vaccine. Novavax intends to apply for a licence in the autumn.
The German Government is to a lesser extent also bilaterally donating COVID-19 vaccines from its own stocks. On 21 August 2021, 1.5 million vaccine doses arrived in Ukraine, and on 22 September 2021 200,000 doses arrived in Namibia. The German Government will donate another 5.6 million vaccine doses to Viet Nam, Egypt and Ghana shortly.
Multilateral solutions instead of vaccine nationalism
Germany and the EU are committed to finding a multilateral solution to the pandemic and to ensuring fair, transparent and affordable access to COVID‑19 vaccines, medicines and diagnostics around the globe. Ensuring that this access is not tied to political conditions represents a joint approach which stands in contrast to the bilateral pledges and vaccine nationalism of some states. However, donations and financial support alone are not enough. Germany and the EU are therefore actively working to promote the production of vaccines in Africa in particular. Germany wants to secure regional healthcare in the long term and will provide funding to help set up vaccine production in countries including South Africa and Senegal.
The COVAX Manufacturing Taskforce was established in order to increase the supply and production of vaccines. The aim is to increase the number of doses which can be produced at short notice, ensuring that COVAX has priority. The 92 poorest countries are the particular focus of attention. In addition, vaccine production in the global South is to be expanded. Germany and South Africa are the co‑chairs.
It will also remain a priority to distribute not only vaccines but medicines and testing materials, too. Healthcare systems weakened by COVID‑19 must be strengthened for the future.
Germany is engaged – worldwide
Germany is helping with more than just vaccines. It also receives requests for ventilators, masks and medical equipment from all over the world. Germany has provided support to around 100 countries and has launched three major relief packages. Among other things, 1400 ventilators have been donated. At present, around 24 million KN95 masks and 197 million surgical masks are being supplied as relief goods. Furthermore, Germany has made available 450 million euro for humanitarian assistance in the context of COVID‑19 in order to help people in humanitarian emergencies.
With a view to learning from the pandemic and making use of the experience that has been gained in the future, Germany is also calling for the WHO to be strengthened. A special WHO session in November will discuss possible measures to this end, including the idea of an international pandemic treaty.