Development on Covid-19 vaccines | 23 October 2020
Seychelles to make initial contribution of US $64,000 towards COVAX
Seychelles is currently in the process of contributing US $64,000 towards COVAX which is the vaccine pillar of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
The ACT Accelerator is a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
Public health commissioner, Dr Jude Gédéon noted that there are about 150 initiatives around the world to find a vaccine to fight Covid-19. Ten of them are in phase three trial: Novavax- Biotech in Maryland (USA), Johnson and Johnson (USA), Moderna Therapeutics (USA), Pfizer (USA), University of Oxford (UK), Sinovac – Coronavac (China), Sinopharm (China), CanSino Biologics (China), Murdoch Children‘s Research institute (Australia) and Sputnik V (Russia).
COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
“Seychelles had already indicated its intention to take part in the GAVI process through the COVAX Secretariat. “In this effort, Seychelles will have to pay a total of R25 million ‒ a sum agreed by the government ‒ to secure access to the vaccines once it’s ready.”
Coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the WHO, COVAX will achieve this by acting as a platform that will support the research, development and manufacturing of a wide range of Covid-19 vaccine candidates, and negotiate their pricing. All participating countries, regardless of income levels, will have equal access to these vaccines once they are developed. The initial aim is to have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021, which should be enough to protect high risk and vulnerable people, as well as frontline healthcare workers.
For lower-income funded nations, who would otherwise be unable to afford these vaccines, as well as a number of higher-income self-financing countries that have no bilateral deals with the manufacturers, COVAX is quite literally a lifeline and the only viable way their citizens will get access to Covid-19 vaccines. For the wealthiest self-financing countries, some of which may also be negotiating bilateral deals with vaccine manufacturers, it serves as an invaluable insurance policy to protect their citizens, both directly and indirectly. On the one hand, it will provide direct protection by increasing their chances of securing vaccine doses. Yet, at the same time by procuring Covid-19 vaccines through COVAX, these nations will also indirectly protect their citizens by reducing the chances of resurgence by ensuring that the rest of the world gets access to doses too.