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'No barriers should stand in way of equitable vaccine access'

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Washington, May 7 (IANS) There should be no barriers in the way of equitable access to Coronavirus’ vaccines, including intellectual property, said Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman.

To address barriers to vaccine supply, the foundation has been building up manufacturing capacity in low- and middle-income countries, facilitating technology transfers between companies, securing raw materials, and financing procurement and delivery so that safe and effective vaccines make it to people everywhere.

“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been working urgently since January 2020 with a range of partners to help Covid-19 vaccines reach as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. Today, with the heartbreaking surges in India and Brazil, and the lack of vaccines across African countries, it is clear there’s much more to be done,” Suzman said, in a statement on Thursday.

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed over $1.75 billion towards Covid-19 response globally, including more than $300 million towards the development, production, and procurement of vaccines, tests, and drugs to ensure equitable and timely distribution of these products.

The foundation has also made available up to $300 million in forgivable loans to support the manufacturing of up to 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.

–IANS

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