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Opinion

Vaccine finance: Why the Covax Facility deserves a closer look

As the world cheered news of a potential Covid-19 vaccine in early November, important steps were being taken on equitable manufacture and distribution as well.

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In early November, vaccine alliance Gavi – a public-private global health partnership to increase access to immunization in lower-income countries – announced the appointment of Citi as financial adviser to its Covax Facility.

The Facility aims to procure, equitably allocate and deliver two billion doses of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

Covax was launched in April in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It is a global collaboration of pharmaceutical companies, governments, multilaterals and non-governmental organizations.

This may be one of the most important risk structures and finance mechanisms of our era – everyone should be paying attention to it.

Some 94 higher-income economies have joined the programme as self-financing members. They pay into the Covax Facility, which provides a large portfolio of vaccine manufacturers with investments and incentives to ensure they are ready to produce the doses needed as soon as a vaccine is approved.

The Covax Facility could serve as a blueprint for the management of future global crises

Most of the vaccines in the portfolio won’t work, but the Facility is a crucial mechanism for fairness. Collaboration and pooled purchasing power should mean lower prices from manufacturers, to everyone's benefit.

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