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Covax secures $2.4B for vaccinations in low-income nations

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Washington, June 3 (IANS) The Covax programme has received $2.4 billion aid for providing equitable vaccinations in low-income countries.

The funds were pledged by wealthier countries, foundations and private companies after a virtual summit hosted by the Japanese government and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance on Wednesday, the New York Times reported.

Belgium, Denmark, Japan, Spain and Sweden also announced plans to share a total of 54 million doses from their domestic supplies with countries in need.

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Japan has pledged $800 million. It has also committed to share 30 million doses of locally produced vaccines.

The US has already committed $4 billion in the last two years in support for Covax. Other Countries include Australia, France, Kuwait, Mauritius, Mexico, Switzerland and Vietnam.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mastercard and the Visa Foundation were among institutions committing funds, and the European Investment Bank announced additional financing to support cost-sharing with African Union countries, the report said.

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Led by Gavi, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Covax was launched last year to promote equity in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. It has so far raised $9.6 billion and shipped more than 77 million doses to 127 countries.

Only 0.4 per cent of all Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in low-income countries. And in many countries, even the most vulnerable adults and health care workers have not received vaccinations, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was quoted as saying at the summit.

The new funds will help nations that are least able to afford them to buy additional vaccine doses as well as to invest in new vaccine candidates, the report said.

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–IANS

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