Launched in April 2020, the COVAX Facility was intended to be a global vaccine procurement hub that would, through sheer financial muscle, make COVID-19 vaccines accessible for all countries. But rich nations entered into bilateral vaccine deals, clearing the shelves, and left COVAX at the back of the global vaccine queue. Initially, COVAX aimed to deliver 1.8 billion doses to low and middle-income countries this year but recently it was forced to reduce this target by 25%. As of mid-October, COVAX had shipped just 288 million doses to LMICs.
The starting point for this conversation is the looming humanitarian crisis of low COVID-19 vaccine coverage, especially in Africa. Dozens of lower-income countries are wholly dependent on COVAX for vaccines. It can therefore not be allowed to fail. How can the COVAX mechanism be salvaged? What are the perspectives of African governments regarding COVAX? What changes has Gavi, which manages COVAX, made in response to the desperate shortage of vaccines and what more could - or should - Gavi be doing? Join us for a critical and forward-looking discussion on the COVAX Facility, featuring Dr. Ayoade Alakija, Co-Chair of the African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance, and Development Today journalist Ann Danaiya Usher.
- Ayoade Alakija, Co-Chair, African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance
- Moderator: Ann Danaiya Usher, journalist, Development Today