The World Health Organization has revealed that it needs a fund worth USD100 billion to provide Coronavirus vaccine to all. However, the global health body has claimed that not even 10 per cent has been raised so far. The fund is required for the WHO’s programme which aims at expediting the development and manufacturing process of COVID-19 vaccine and make sure that the elusive drug is available to everyone, mainly in the middle and low-income countries, by the end of 2021.
In April this year, the WHO had launched Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator programme aimed at accelerating the development, production, and equitable access to tests, treatments and vaccines for the Covid-19 disease. The vaccine arm of this international collaborative initiative is called COVAX, The Indian Express reported.
Through the COVAX mechanism, the WHO has been trying to get the countries to pool in their resources to support the rapid development of multiple vaccine candidates.
At a press conference on Monday, WHO director general Tedros Ghebreyesus indicated that the progress, at least on raising funds, was not satisfactory.
“There is a vast global gap between our ambition for the ACT-Accelerator and the amount of funds that have been committed. While we are grateful for those that have made contributions, we are only 10 per cent of the way to funding the billions required to realise the promise of the ACT Accelerator,” The Indian Express quoted Ghebreyesus as saying.
WHO has invited countries to join this initiative and voluntarily contribute funds to support the rapid development of vaccines, scale-up of manufacturing capacities, and strengthening of the delivery mechanisms.
The support is meant not just for development of the vaccine, but also for ramping up manufacturing capacities, so that the billions of doses that are required, are produced quickly. The WHO aims to ensure the distribution of at least 2 billion doses of vaccines through the COVAX programme, mainly in the middle and low-income countries, by the end of 2021.
Hundreds of vaccines for the novel Coronavirus are being developed across the world, about 30 of which are in different stages of testing on human beings.
Meanwhile, Russia on Tuesday became the first country to officially register a coronavirus vaccine and declare it ready for use, despite international skepticism. President Vladimir Putin said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated. Developed by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry, the vaccine has completed all three phases of human clinical trials successfully.