A total of 156 countries, representing two-thirds of the world’s population, have committed to participating in the Covax co-operation on the equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
Norway is among the 64 high-income countries that will participate in the co-operation and fully finance their participation in the mechanism.
In addition, 92 low-income countries are participating. They will be able to receive support for the purchase of vaccines.
However, several major powers such as the United States, Russia, and China have so far refused to participate.
US authorities announced earlier this month that they would not participate in the Covax partnership.
A White House spokesman explained that the collaboration could be influenced by China and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Commenting on America’s decision, Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) said that she was disappointed.
The fact that a large number of other countries have now joined the collaboration makes it possible for Covax to sign formal agreements with vaccine manufacturers who are partners in the project.
The target is to secure the vaccine doses needed to end the acute phase of the pandemic by the end of 2021, a press release from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) said on Monday.
The number of countries participating in the co-operation is expected to increase in the near future.
“We expect 38 more countries to join us in the coming days. Many have said they will follow suit. That is important,” director Seth Berkley of the vaccine alliance Gavi noted at a press conference on Monday.
Quick action needed
CEPI, Gavi, and the World Health Organization (WHO) are collaborating to lead the Covax cooperation.
“We must continue to work for fair access to vaccines, tests and medicines. To fight the coronavirus pandemic, prosperous countries must act quickly and show courage to make vaccines and medicines available to those who cannot afford to pay for themselves,” Norwegian Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein (KrF) said in a statement.
Last week, the government stated that Norway and Iceland would together donate NOK 64 million to the Covax collaboration.
Additionally, Norway will contribute NOK 64 million to enable the purchase of vaccine doses to low-income countries.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today