Global leaders pledge rapid and equitable access to vaccines to low and middle-income countries
May 24, 2021
Leaders of the G20 on 21 May stressed the need to ensure equitable access to vaccines and to support low and middle-income countries, at a summit co-hosted by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, as G20 chair.
‘Team Europe‘ presented to the summit concrete contributions to respond to this call, both to cover immediate needs and to build capacity in the medium term.
The European Commission has worked with industrial partners, which are manufacturing vaccines in Europe, to make available vaccine doses for low and middle-income countries, rapidly. BioNTech/Pfizer (1 billion), Johnson & Johnson (200 million) and Moderna (around 100 million) pledged 1.3 billion doses of vaccines, to be delivered to low-income countries at no profit, and to middle-income countries at lower prices by the end of 2021, many of which will go via COVAX. They committed more than 1 billion doses for 2022.
Team Europe aims at donating 100 million doses of vaccines to low and middle-income countries until the end of the year, in particular through COVAX.
In addition to covering current vaccine needs, Team Europe will also invest to equip Africa to produce vaccines itself. Backed by €1 billion funding from the EU budget and European development finance institutions such as the European Investment Bank, Team Europe’s initiative will cover investments in infrastructure and production capacity, but also in training and skills, supply chains management, regulatory framework.
President von der Leyen said: “Today Africa imports 99% of its vaccines and 94% of its medicines. This has to change”.
Under the initiative, a number of regional production hubs will be developed, covering the whole African continent.