Developing countries get a $2.4 billion Covax boost for vaccine distribution

Japan PM Yoshihide Suga

Japan PM Yoshihide Suga

The announcement came during a video summit hosted by Japan and the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, which leads the Covax facility. "Japan fully supports efforts to ensure equitable access to safe and effective vaccines for as many people as possible".

The summit secured almost $2.4 billion from governments and the private sector.

The COVAX Facility is aiming to secure $8.3 billion in funding, enough for 1.8 billion doses or 30 percent of the population of developing countries by early 2022.

Muscat: Commissioned by His Majesty the Sultan, His Excellency the Minister of Health, participated in the Gavi and COVAX summit under the title "One Protected World". The fresh funds brought total Covax financing to US$9.6 billion, he added.

Mexico and Poland joined as new donors. Japan has already contributed 200 million dollars to the cause. The alliance has also demonstrated its ability to stand together and move towards a more equitable global distribution of vaccines.

He said more solidarity and commitment will be needed to overcome the global crisis.

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In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford mulled whether to reopen schools as health officials announced 1,135 new cases and 19 more deaths. Kenney, however, said getting vaccinated was the best way to keep people safe and ensure restrictions were lifted.

Suga also announced plans to provide 30 million doses of a vaccine manufactured under license in Japan to other countries and regions in need.

Suga also pledged to develop Japan's own vaccines that would be provided globally.

The Japanese government unveiled a long-term strategy on Tuesday to enable the speedy development and rollout of new vaccines. In addition to a lack of locally developed vaccines, Japan's lengthy drug approval process was criticized as a major obstacle that delayed vaccinations during the pandemic. Among those facing vaccine shortfalls are numerous 92 low- and middle-income countries and territories in the Advanced Market Commitment part of the COVAX programme.

Countries and private donors pledged almost US$2.4 billion on Wednesday to the Covax vaccine-sharing plan, expanding efforts to make Covid-19 shots more available to people in poorer nations.

"I encourage these nations to be bold and commit as soon as possible to sharing over 1 billion doses in 2021 mostly through Gavi's Covax advance market commitment", Gates said. The sums ranged from a $2,500 contribution from Mauritius to $50 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, $61 million from Spain and $800 million from Japan, Reuters reported.

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