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Luxembourg stands up for equitable access by donating doses to COVAX – first doses reach Rwanda

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  • A longstanding supporter of global vaccination, Luxembourg has donated 409,600 doses of COVAX-19 vaccines to COVAX, with the first 12,000 doses reaching Rwanda. This donation comes on top of a previous EUR 2 million pledge to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC) to support procurement of vaccines for lower-income economies around the world, which Luxembourg has now increased by 2 million to a total of EUR 4 million.

  • Franz Fayot, Luxembourg minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, underlines the importance of vaccine sharing in the context of the pandemic: “Many countries still have very little access to vaccines and struggle to relaunch their economies. A high vaccination rate worldwide is key for returning back to normal on a global scale, and we are happy to support our partner Gavi in this endeavour.”

  • Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao, Gavi Managing Director for Resource Mobilisation, Private Sector Partnerships and Innovative Finance: “A Gavi donor since 2005, Luxembourg has been a strong supporter of COVAX since the beginning – I am very happy to see the first doses donated by Luxembourg reaching Rwanda today.”

Geneva, 19 November 2021 – As part of a 409,600-dose pledge to COVAX, Rwanda has become the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines donated by Luxembourg, receiving 12,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This commitment is part of a Team Europe pledge to donate 500 million doses to lower-income economies, with the majority going through COVAX.

Luxembourg had previously pledged EUR 2 million and is increasing its contribution by EUR 2 million in funding to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC), which aims to procure and distribute doses to 92 lower-income economies around the world. The country’s support to COVAX is part of a multi-year, un-earmarked commitment to global vaccination, as a longstanding Gavi donor.

Franz Fayot, Luxembourg minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, underlined the importance of vaccine sharing in the context of the pandemic: “Many countries still have very little access to vaccines and struggle to relaunch their economies. A high vaccination rate worldwide is key for returning back to normal on a global scale, and we are happy to support our partner Gavi in this endeavour.”

“A Gavi donor since 2005, Luxembourg has been a strong supporter of COVAX since the beginning,” added Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao, Gavi Managing Director for Resource Mobilisation, Private Sector Partnerships and Innovative Finance. “I am very happy to see the first doses donated by Luxembourg reaching Rwanda today.”

These doses donated by Luxembourg 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. COVAX shipments to countries are enabled by delivery partners UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

Over 1.3 billion 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 888 million children – and prevented more than 15 million future 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.

Gavi is a co-convener of COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, together with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In its role Gavi is focused on procurement and delivery for COVAX: coordinating the design, implementation and administration of the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX AMC and working with its Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery.

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.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Evan O’Connell
+41 79 682 18 95
eoconnell@gavi.org

Iryna Mazur
+41 79 429 3671
imazur@gavi.org

Meg Sharafudeen
+41 79 711 55 54
msharafudeen@gavi.org

Laura Shevlin
+ 41 79 529 92 87
lshevlin@gavi.org

Cirũ Kariũki
+41 79 913 94 41
ckariuki@gavi.org