Fair global distribution of COVID‑19 vaccine: Germany joins COVAX vaccine platform

Bottle with vaccine serum (stock Image)

Bottle with vaccine serum (stock Image), © Colourbox.de

23.09.2020 - Article

Vaccines against COVID‑19 need to be global public goods that are accessible and affordable for all countries. That is why Germany has joined the COVAX vaccine platform, which works to ensure the fair distribution of future vaccines.

Fighting the COVID‑19 pandemic together and in a spirit of solidarity

The pandemic can only be overcome if it is brought under control all over the world: nobody is safe until everybody is safe. Vaccines therefore need to be available and affordable worldwide. That is the goal of the COVAX platform, led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

To this end countries throughout the world are forming an alliance to jointly purchase two billion doses of vaccine and distribute them fairly. The aim is to prioritise the vaccination of nurses and doctors in Africa, for example, and not only the entire populations of industrialised nations.

Pooling demand worldwide and meeting it multilaterally before vaccines come onto the market

No COVID‑19 vaccine is available yet. However, in view of limited production capacities worldwide, COVAX is already preparing to secure contingents centrally for a large number of vaccine candidates. That is the only way in which production capacities for global supply can be built up even before a vaccine is licensed.

As of 18 September, 64 industrialised countries and emerging economies, including Germany, have joined COVAX; another 38 are due to follow their example in the coming days. COVAX is also enabling 92 developing countries to obtain access to vaccines, financed through development cooperation funds. COVAX is thus already meeting the needs of more than two thirds of the global population.

Germany – working for multilateral solutions, not vaccine nationalism

Germany has joined COVAX via the EU and has contributed 675 million euro to the ACT Accelerator, which is also developing mechanisms to ensure global access to medicines to treat COVID‑19 and to diagnostics.

The EU is providing 400 million euro in start‑up funding for COVAX and sharing its technical expertise. Germany will also provide a substantial contribution to support developing countries. In addition to that and other support, Germany has made available 300 million euro for humanitarian assistance in the context of COVID‑19 and is working in all international bodies to promote globally fair, transparent and affordable access to COVID‑19 vaccines, medicines and diagnostics.

The challenges remain considerable – Germany will continue to do its part

The funding requirements for COVAX and ACT A are far from being met. It is currently impossible to predict whether an effective and safe vaccine will be made available, and if so, when, despite the fact that nine potential vaccines are in the third and final phase of clinical testing. Germany will continue to work to promote multilateralism and in its own legitimate interests as a part of #TeamEurope, particularly during our Presidency of the Council of the EU.

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