UNICEF announced that it has joined the COVAX Facility market guarantee, launched by WHO, to enable low- and lower-middle-income countries to have access to COVID-19 vaccines. This is, for the UN body of “the best way to ensure that, when vaccines are available, no country will be relegated to the background,” wrote UNICEF in a statement.
Ensuring equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine is not only a matter of social justice, it is also a matter of public health. “The whole world will remain vulnerable to the virus until countries with weakest health systems are also protected,” the same source reads.
As a reminder, the market guarantee of the COVAX Facility, launched in collaboration with 189 countries, COVAX supports the development of 9 candidate vaccines through the Coalition for Innovations in Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI ). COVAX has secured a guarantee of hundreds of millions of doses of three promising vaccines, at least 200 million of which are intended for low-income countries.
In this sense, UNICEF calls on governments to work together to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are affordable and accessible for all countries. High-income countries are also a necessary link since their investments in the supply of the vaccine against COVID-19. All countries must take a strong stand against export controls on products related to the response to COVID-19 and against their unnecessary accumulation, the statement concludes.