"Vaccine nationalism will only perpetuate the disease and prolong the global recovery. Working together through the COVAX Facility is not charity; it's in every country's own best interests to control the pandemic and accelerate the global economic recovery," explained WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom.
The COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX facility) initiative aims at joining governments and manufacturers to ensure maximum production of a COVID-19 vaccine and its allocation worldwide. Already 64 higher-income economies have joined, and the WHO expects the signing of another 38 in the coming days. The scheme is expected to benefit 64 percent of the global population in total.
64 higher income economies have now joined the COVAX Facility, a global initiative bringing together governments and manufacturers to ensure eventual #COVID19 vaccines reach those in greatest need, whoever they are and wherever they live https://t.co/6KyDZ6TWWEpic.twitter.com/QQeyBg01xm
The WHO expects to deliver 2 billion doses of a vaccine in 2021. The organization released today an Allocation Framework, a guideline to ensure that "no participating economy will be left behind." An initial overall $2 billion in funding is required by the end of 2020.
However, neither the U.S. nor China, the world's largest economies, have subscribed to the COVAX initiative thus far, although WHO authorities have said that they are in dialogue with their Chinese counterparts.
On the other hand, the Donald Trump administration has said that it will seek to "engage with international partners, but they will not involve in the initiative in part because is led by the WHO." The U.S. President Donald Trump has promoted a confrontation with the WHO since the beginning of the pandemic. Experts warned that Trump's decision might leave the country isolated and at a disadvantage in terms of scientific research.
According to the UN, "the success of COVAX hinges not only on economies signing up to the COVAX Facility and commitments from vaccine manufacturers, but also filling key funding gaps for both COVAX research and development work and the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment to support the participation of lower-income economies in the COVAX Facility."