Japan gives another $800M to UN-backed COVAX

Japan gives another $800M to UN-backed COVAX

Japan gives another $800M to UN-backed COVAX

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will pledge up to $800 million toward the COVAX Facility, an worldwide framework for the fair distribution of coronavirus vaccines to developing countries, during an upcoming online summit, government sources said Tuesday.

Tokyo co-hosted the conference with Gavi, which helps lead Covax. "Gavi guarantees the equitable distribution of several vaccines, including the polio vaccine and others that are considered an important step against the spread of epidemics and infectious diseases in the world".

The summit secured almost $2.4 billion from governments and the private sector.

The donations, pledged by roughly 40 private donors and countries, filled what had been a $1.7 billion funding gap.

"We have taken a big step towards "one world protected", said Jose Manuel Barroso, GAVI vaccine alliance chairman. The fresh funds brought total Covax financing to US$9.6 billion, he added. Japan has already contributed 200 million dollars to the cause.

"We must not allow a country's specific situation or economic power to determine its access to vaccines", Suga, who co-hosted the meeting, said in his opening remarks.

Suga also announced plans to provide 30 million doses of a vaccine manufactured under license in Japan to other countries and regions in need.

He said this will happen when all conditions are met, and at an appropriate time, reported NHK World. "In the future, we would supply [the vaccines] to the world", he said.

Under the long-term strategy, Japan will aim for the speedy development and rollout of new vaccines.

Japan on Wednesday pledged an additional $800 million toward an global effort to ensure the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines amid a widening gap between nations in administering shots. Japan's lengthy approval process has been a major hurdle in vaccinating the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those facing vaccine shortfalls are numerous 92 low- and middle-income countries and territories in the Advanced Market Commitment part of the COVAX programme. "I encourage these nations to be bold and commit as soon as possible to sharing over 1 billion doses in 2021 mostly through GAVI's COVAX advance market commitment".

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation later announced a US$50 million commitment to Covax.

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