The first deliveries from a pledge of 15 million doses to be donated to COVAX by Italy have arrived, with 100,800 doses of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine to Iraq, and more shipping to additional countries in the coming days.
Italy is donating doses to COVAX on top of the USD 470 million it has pledged to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC).
Italy has contributed to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance since 2006 when it became a founding member of IFFIm and its third largest contributor. A key focus of its development strategy is to contribute to global health by strengthening the fight against inequalities in terms of the right to health.
In May this year, as chair of the G20, Italy recently hosted The Global Health Summit alongside the European Commission, which saw seven European countries pledge to share over 100 million vaccine doses with middle- and low-income economies, boosting short term supplies.
This donation by Italy allows COVAX to deliver more vaccines in the third quarter of this year, before supply from COVAX purchase agreements increases in Q4, meaning that more people will be able to access vaccines now, at a time when variants are a major threat to global health and stability.
President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic, Prof. Mario Draghi said: “We must make sure that vaccines are more available to poorer countries. Our priority must be to ensure that we all overcome the current pandemic together. We must vaccinate the world – and do it fast.”
These doses donated by Italy 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.
“Italy was one of the first donors to the Gavi COVAX AMC, having contributed USD 470 million in total funding. This dose donation cements Italian leadership in supporting global equitable access, which it also supports through the work of Italy’s G20 Presidency. We are grateful to Italy and the Italian people for their commitment to ending the acute stage of the pandemic through the conversion of dose-sharing pledges into deliveries,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX.
The design and operationalization of the COVAX dose sharing mechanism is being supported by a contribution of CAD 5 million from Canada.