UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore’s remarks at the one-year anniversary of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

 

COVID 19 Vaccines – ACT-A/Access/Logistics

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore’s remarks at the one-year anniversary of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator
Statement
NEW YORK, 23 April 2021 – “UNICEF is proud to be part of the ACT-Accelerator and COVAX.
“We’re applying our experience as the largest single vaccine buyer in the world. We’re working with manufacturers and partners to procure COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as freight, logistics and storage. And we’re procuring diagnostics, therapeutics and PPE.

“In the race to defeat this virus, equity is not a ‘nice to have’ — it’s a necessity. Each time the virus is transmitted somewhere in the world, it can evolve and new variants could emerge This threatens recovery everywhere.

“So we need to get vaccines off the tarmac and into the arms of those who need them.

“That means helping governments prepare to receive the vaccines. It means having appropriate cold chain equipment in place. It means training health workers. It means building trust and tackling misinformation. And it means delivering other critical interventions – infection control, PPE, handwashing supplies, and more.

“All of this requires funding. And countries are having a hard time finding room in their domestic budgets for the rollout — which could lead to vaccine supplies being wasted or countries sacrificing other vital health programmes.

“They need our support now.

“Help us close the overall funding gap for ACT-A. UNICEF urgently requires flexible funds for the vaccine rollout and for tests, treatments and supplies.
“Let’s make sure the light at the end of the tunnel shines for us all. Thank you.”

 

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ACT-Accelerator 1-Year Anniversary: the biopharmaceutical industry is committed to continue to play a critical role
IFPMA Press Release
Geneva, 23 April 2021 – Today we welcome the one-year Anniversary of ACT Accelerator (ACT-A) – an unprecedented global partnership established to defeat a global health crisis. The force of ACT-A has been its flexible, solution-oriented and collaborative approach, with all players – governments, business, civil society, and global health organizations – having a seat at the table. Beating COVID-19 will require constant global surveillance, continued innovation, and close cooperation.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, the biopharmaceutical industry committed to fair and equitable access to new COVID-19 tools. In joining the ACT-A last year, the biopharmaceutical industry signed up to bring to this partnership the industry’s unique knowledge and expertise in the discovery and development of novel therapeutics and vaccines and in building manufacturing capacity and distribution networks.

Within the year of ACT-A coming together considerable progress has been made, in particular with regards to vaccines. COVAX has secured nearly 2 billion vaccine doses; and 38 million have reached over 100 countries. This has only been possible, because within that time, several highly safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have been approved, compressing a decade of normal development times in just ten months. In parallel to conducting the necessary steps to gain approval for the new vaccines, vaccine manufacturers prepared the manufacturing base from which today historic quantities of COVID-19 vaccines are being produced and deployed across the world. The speed of response is impressive.

This month, on the first anniversary of the ACT-Accelerator, the 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine production milestone has been reached, and current projections[1] to produce close to 10 billion doses by the end of 2021 is thought to be feasible. According to a recent World Bank report[2], this should be sufficient to achieve global equity in the distribution of vaccines and attain worldwide herd immunity by March 2022. However, vaccine makers warn that their manufacturing scale up projections to meet global demand are dependent on immediate action being taken to promote the free flow of goods and trade as well as better visibility of demands on supplies…