The Government intends to provide an additional SEK 100 million in grants to COVAX to make COVID-19 vaccines accessible in low and middle income countries. This means that Sweden is doubling its support to the COVAX global vaccine access initiative.
The Government is now planning to allocate an additional SEK 100 million to COVAX so that more people in low and middle income countries and in humanitarian crisis areas get access to vaccines. The pandemic has now claimed more than two million lives around the world, and more than 100 million COVID-19 cases have been registered. The pandemic also has serious indirect effects, not least as regards access to health and medical care and sexual and reproductive health and rights. International humanitarian needs are also greater than they have been in a very long time as a direct result of the pandemic. In the fight against the pandemic, vaccines play a crucial role in ending the effects of the virus, speeding up the economic recovery and reducing the risk of virus mutations. This means that global vaccine access also benefits people in Sweden. To succeed, vaccines must be available to everyone, not just certain countries. This also means that health systems must be able to implement vaccination programmes. In this, Sweden’s long-term support to strengthen health and medical care systems also plays an important role.
- “No one is safe until we’re all safe. Not helping ensure that people all over the world can get access to safe and effective vaccines is not an option. This is about solidarity and decency, but also stopping a pandemic that has serious consequences everywhere. I am proud that Sweden can continue to help in the global fight against COVID-19,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation Per Olsson Fridh.
The contribution of SEK 100 million is planned to go to COVAX AMC, led by the World Health Organization and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi). The contribution is for COVID-19 vaccines for 92 low and lower-middle income countries and will be a supplement to an earlier contribution of SEK 100 million given in 2020. On 3 February, COVAX presented plans to begin delivery of vaccine doses to a total of 145 countries in the first half of 2021. Sweden is part of the EU’s vaccine procurement programme, which right from the start pushed for global vaccine access. Sweden is also a member of COVAX through the EU.
Press Secretary to the Minister for International Development Cooperation
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