New Gavi Risk Sharing Partnership with the Open Society Foundations and MedAccess to Help Meet Country Demand for COVID-19 Vaccines
NEW YORK—The Open Society Foundations, MedAccess, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance today announced a new partnership to create a risk sharing facility to help countries procure additional COVID-19 vaccine doses, including variant-adapted doses in response to risks and shocks. The $200 million facility is designed to enable countries to protect more of their people and support COVAX’s ambitions to make COVID vaccine procurement more sustainable and more tailored to country needs.
The Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) provides COVID-19 vaccines free of charge for 92 of the world’s lowest-income countries, helping them to meet the objectives set out in their national vaccination strategies—with more than 1.2 billion doses already shipped to AMC countries. In addition, AMC countries can also use the COVAX Cost-Sharing Mechanism to order more doses using domestic resources or low-cost financing from their multilateral development bank partners, enabling them to protect more people, more quickly.
The new guarantees are aimed at increasing take-up of the Cost-Sharing Mechanism by facilitating the financing of orders. MedAccess will provide a $100 million procurement guarantee to enable COVAX to order more doses from manufacturers on behalf of AMC countries choosing to participate in cost-sharing. By purchasing through COVAX, countries benefit from lower prices per dose negotiated for a range of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Open Society Foundations will provide a further procurement guarantee of up to $100 million alongside MedAccess, through the Soros Economic Development Fund. This will help COVAX to respond to country requests for additional doses in the event of a future shock or demand spike.
“COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on health and financial systems in every country,” said MedAccess CEO Michael Anderson. “Donors have stepped up with huge sums of money to drive COVAX’s initial dose allocations but innovative finance can unlock even greater value. Our support for Gavi will enable COVAX to work with countries to speed up access to these essential vaccines and put their programs on a more sustainable footing.”
“Innovative financing solutions are crucial to the success of global vaccination in 2022,” added Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “Our partnership with MedAccess, thanks to the support of the Open Society Foundations, will allow countries to access additional resources through COVAX cost-sharing, helping them to meet the goals set out in their national vaccination strategies and respond to uncertainty and risks such as new variants. Together, we can break COVID-19.”
“The inequities in access to vaccines in poor countries is one of the biggest, collective global failings of our time,” said Mark Malloch-Brown, president of the Open Society Foundations. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, Open Society has responded in diverse ways to ensure that the most vulnerable have equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics—just like those in rich countries. COVAX’s Cost-Sharing Mechanism is an additional and important way to ensure governments have the agency, on their terms, to determine if, how, and when they acquire low-cost doses for their populations.”
The COVAX Cost-Sharing Mechanism was launched in partnership between Gavi, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank in July 2021. Since then, the European Investment Bank has also joined and committed €300 million in financing for countries wishing to access additional doses through the mechanism. Countries with multilateral development bank–approved vaccination programs can make requests to COVAX for additional vaccine doses. To date, Gavi has already ordered 140 million additional vaccine doses through cost sharing on behalf of 15 AMC countries, at a total value of $800 million.
Countries specify the preferred type of vaccine, number of doses, and their desired delivery window, enabling COVAX to aggregate demand and exercise its options under agreements with vaccine manufacturers. The multilateral development bank provides a payment confirmation, which enables COVAX to confirm its order. Subject to finalization of the legal agreement, MedAccess and Open Society’s support aims to provide a backstop for Gavi during the period from exercising its option to country payment being confirmed; without the guarantees, Gavi would be required to hold donor funds in reserve. This guarantee provides financial independence to Gavi for the benefit of COVAX AMC country partners.
On April 8, 2022, Gavi will hold the 2022 Gavi COVAX AMC Summit, co-hosted by Germany. Gavi aims to raise at least $5.2 billion in urgent financial support for COVAX, including $3.8 billion in donor funding for lower-income countries supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC. At least $1 billion of the $5.2 billion is intended to come from cost-sharing.
To date, COVAX has shipped more than 1.4 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to 145 countries and territories.
COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by CEPI, Gavi, and the World Health Organization—working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, PAHO, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both high-income and lower-income countries.
Gavi’s role in COVAX
Gavi leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX: designing and managing the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX AMC and working with its traditional Alliance partners UNICEF and the World Health Organization, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery. Learn more about Gavi’s role in COVAX.
About Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunize a whole generation—over 888 million children—and prevented more than 15 million future deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 lower-income countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis, and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching zero dose children remaining deprived of even a single vaccine shot still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology—from drones to biometrics—to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread, and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency.
MedAccess is a UK-based social finance company with a mission to make global health care markets work for everyone. Its core purpose is to make medical supplies more widely available at lower prices in underserved markets. By applying the rigor and skills of business finance, it provides a novel solution to the challenge. MedAccess offers financial guarantees and debt products that reduce commercial risk and allow medical manufacturers to accelerate supplies into new markets at affordable and sustainable prices. In this way, vaccines, medicines, diagnostic tests and medical devices can reach patients far sooner than existing market forces would allow.
About the Soros Economic Development Fund
The Soros Economic Development Fund, the social impact investment arm of the Open Society Foundations, supports Open Society’s mission through investments that advance the Foundations’ enduring commitments of equity, expression, and justice.
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