A global public good – equal access for all
A pandemic does not stop at borders. The same needs to be true of the fight against it, including the development and distribution of vaccines. Our objective must be to develop vaccines swiftly, cooperatively and transparently, manufacture them in sufficient quantities to meet global demand, and make them available in a timely and fair manner all over the world.
That is why Germany advocates making immunisation against COVID‑19 a global public good: knowledge about the composition and production of the drugs and the vaccine, as well as access to them, need to be managed in such a way that nobody can be excluded and no rivalries can develop over Access.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas commented as follows:
The logic of the pandemic is such that we will either defeat it globally or we won’t defeat it at all.
Foreign Minister Maas made this call in conjunction with 54 of his fellow foreign ministers within the Alliance for Multilateralism. Germany is now working to see a fair and binding distribution mechanism established before the vaccine is fully developed.
Strengthening the global innovation platform ACT Accelerator
In addition, while co-hosting a major donor conference initiated by the European Commission to raise funds for the global innovation platform ACT Accelerator on 4 May, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged 525 million euros for the development of a vaccine and drugs. ACT stands for “access to COVID tools”. The conference raised a total of 7.4 billion euros for the platform.
The ACT Accelerator platform grew out of an initiative started by the Gates Foundation and brings together governments as well as international organisations like the WHO (World Health Organization), Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance, and the research coalition CEPI. It is based on four pillars: development and distribution of vaccines, access to treatments, diagnostics and fortification of healthcare systems.
The next stage: getting the platform up and running
The intention now is to make the platform operational as soon as possible. Its activities will be based on the four pillars. Because of its central position in the field of international healthcare, the WHO will play a key role, particularly in distributing drugs and vaccines. The other participating institutions, initiatives, businesses, foundations and governments will also get involved and play a role within the administrative structure.
It is clear that the only sustainable way of fighting the pandemic is through close international cooperation. The more our research and development can pool knowledge from around the world, the more successfully and quickly will we achieve our objective of developing a vaccine and effective drugs.