Finland committed to ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines

NordenBladet — Finland supports developing countries to fight against COVID-19 with more than EUR 80 million from its development cooperation appropriations. The sum includes a EUR 2.5 million core contribution paid to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, last year. International cooperation is instrumental for defeating the pandemic.

As part of international cooperation against COVID-19, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will attend a virtual high-level event, organised by the United States and Gavi. A new round of funding will be launched at the event. Meeting participants will include United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg.

The Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) is a financing mechanism that supports access to vaccines especially for the world’s poorest countries. The COVAX AMC uses pooling of demand and advance purchase agreements to reduce manufacturing risk, to negotiate lower prices with manufacturers and to ensure equal access for low-income countries.

“We have a duty to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are available to everyone – everywhere in the world. As we all know, no one will be safe until we eliminate the coronavirus from the whole world. We need vaccines to achieve this,” Minister Skinnari says.

Equal access to COVID-19 vaccines is important both for global solidarity and for health security in Finland. However, there are challenges in ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines. Poor countries, in particular, run the risk of lagging behind in vaccinating their population. Here, international cooperation plays a key role.Finland supports the EU’s vaccine solidarity to help third countries gain access to vaccines as soon as possible and favours the use of the COVAX Facility to donate vaccines especially for humanitarian purposes.

To date, more than 30 million doses of vaccines have been delivered to just over 80 countries through COVAX. The goal is to deliver around 250 million vaccine doses to 142 countries by summer. Gavi estimates that 1.8 billion doses could be distributed through COVAX AMC by the end of 2021, if the necessary funding level is achieved.

Altogether 190 countries are participating in COVAX, and the goal is to ensure that two billion doses of vaccines are manufactured by the end of 2021 for use in these countries. There are two ways in which countries can participate in COVAX: as self-financing countries or as funded countries who receive vaccines through COVAX AMC.Last year, Finland granted Gavi a core contribution of EUR 2.5 million. Finland supports vaccine development and deployment also through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI). Finland is using around EUR 84 million to fund the international COVID-19 support. Finland is involved in global work against COVID-19 through the EU and through multilateral organisations and development finance institutions.

 


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