Iceland renews commitment to global equitable access to vaccines: first doses arrive in Côte d’Ivoire

  • As part of a donation of 125,726 doses to COVAX, the first shipment of 35,700 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Iceland has arrived in Côte d’Ivoire. This Icelandic commitment to global health comes on top of a pledge of ISK 750 million to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC).

  • Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson, Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation: “Iceland is firmly committed to play its part. Equitable access to vaccines is not only a fundamental matter of global solidarity but a shared interest of us all.”

  • Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance: “Iceland has long punched above its weight in development and global health: this shipment of Icelandic doses through COVAX underlines the government’s commitment to global equitable access to vaccines.”

Geneva, 20 September 2021 – The first doses donated by Iceland to COVAX have arrived in Côte d’Ivoire, with a shipment of 35,700 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine setting down in Abidjan on 19 September 2021. This is part of a total donation of 125,726 doses to COVAX, alongside a financial pledge of ISK 750 million in funding made earlier this year to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC).

Iceland’s longstanding support for global development and public health in Africa has grown ever stronger – Iceland committed funding to Gavi for the 2018-2021 period, focused on reducing maternal and child mortality in Malawi. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, this additional support for COVAX helps us to move closer to ending the acute phase of the pandemic.

“Iceland is firmly committed to play its part” says Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation of Iceland. “Equitable access to vaccines is not only a fundamental matter of global solidarity but a shared interest of us all.”

“Iceland has long punched above its weight in development and global health,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX. “This shipment of Icelandic doses through COVAX underlines the government’s commitment to global equitable access to vaccines.”

These doses donated by Iceland are produced by the AstraZeneca manufacturing network. Donating through COVAX helps to increase vaccine coverage, ensures that no dose goes to waste, and helps to bring an end to the acute phase of the pandemic. The design and operationalization of the COVAX dose sharing mechanism is being supported by a contribution of CAD 5 million from Canada.

The donation of doses via COVAX are enabled via tripartite agreements between Gavi, manufacturers, and donating countries. The shipments to countries will be enabled by COVAX delivery partners UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Over 600 million doses have already been pledged to COVAX by a number of countries in response to short-term supply challenges and the rise of new variants. Working with donor governments to operationalise growing numbers of dose-sharing pledges, COVAX expects to see more deliveries of donated doses in the weeks and months to come.


Notes to editors

About COVAX

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator , is co-led by CEPI, Gavi and WHO – 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 WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery. As part of this role, Gavi hosts the Office of the COVAX Facility to coordinate the operation and governance of the mechanism as a whole, holds financial and legal relationships with 193 Facility participants, and manages the COVAX Facility deals portfolio: negotiating advance purchase agreements with manufacturers of promising vaccine candidates to secure doses on behalf of all COVAX Facility participants. Gavi also coordinates design, operationalisation and fundraising for the Gavi COVAX AMC, the mechanism that provides access to donor-funded doses of vaccine to 92 lower-income economies. As part of this work, Gavi provides funding and oversight for UNICEF procurement and delivery of vaccines to all AMC participants – operationalising the advance purchase agreements between Gavi and manufacturers – as well as support for partners’ and governments work on readiness and delivery. This includes tailored support to governments, UNICEF, WHO and other partners for cold chain equipment, technical assistance, syringes, vehicles, and other aspects of the vastly complex logistical operation for delivery. Gavi also co-designed, raises funds for and supports the operationalisation of the AMC’s no-fault compensation mechanism as well as the COVAX Humanitarian Buffer.

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 immunise a whole generation – over 822 million children – and prevented more than 14 million 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 the unvaccinated children 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. Learn more at www.gavi.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here.

 

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