Mexico signs commitment to purchase WHO’s COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX

COVAX is focused on providing innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines

Mexico signs commitment to purchase WHO’s COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX
A lab technician sorts blood samples for a COVID-19 vaccination study – Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP
English 25/09/2020 17:07 Mexico City Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL & Miranda Perea/EL UNIVERSAL in English Actualizada 17:07

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Through his social networks, the head of Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (SRE), Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón, announced that the government sent Geneva, Switzerland its commitment to buy vaccines against COVID-19 through COVAX.

“Mexico guarantees its participation in the main multilateral initiative to ensure universal access to the vaccine against COVID-19,” said the minister in a message he posted with the image of the commitment.

On Thursday, Ebrard asserted that the federal government would have like to prevent the COVID-19-related deaths of 74,000 Mexicans but there were no treatments and a vaccine was yet to be developed.

“I share with you that we have sent to Geneve, Switzerland, the Commitment to buy vaccines through COVAX. Mexico guarantees its participation in the main multilateral initiative to ensure universal access to the vaccine against COVID-19,” Ebrad posted on Twitter.

During his participation at the final report of the “Juntos por la salud” (Together for Health) initiative, the head of the SRE mentioned that the arrival of the health emergency in Mexico last March represented the most difficult challenge for the country’s health system.

After asserting the pandemic has receded in Mexico, Ebrard revealed that the country has officially signed up for the COVAX initiative.

“With it, Mexico has ensured access to the vaccine because as you know, COVAX currently has 18 vaccines in phase 3 or near phase 3. That is, from those 18 and the ones that add up. Mexico will have access to those that are authorized by regulatory health authorities,” he added.

“It doesn’t mean we’ll slow down because the pandemic that reached us in March is not the same today; that is why today we got together to report and concludes this stage. There will be others because we have learned a lot, we have grown in humane terms, as institutions, as individuals, and as a community, we have grown with this amazing experience,” he said.

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COVAX
According to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s website, COVAX was launched in April 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission, and France as one of the three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT).

COVAX is focused on providing innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines. According to Gavi, COVAX “is the only truly global solution to this pandemic because it is the only effort to ensure that people in all corners of the world will get access to COVID-19 vaccines once they are available, regardless of their wealth.”

COVAX aims to support the research, development, and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines. The objective is to have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021, which should be enough to protect high risk and vulnerable people, as well as frontline healthcare workers.

“COVAX has been created to maximize our chances of successfully developing COVID-19 vaccines and manufacture them in the quantities needed to end this crisis, and in doing so ensure that ability to pay does not become a barrier to accessing them,” says Gavi.

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In order to do this, Gavi created the COVAX Facility that continually monitors the COVID-19 vaccine development landscape to identify the best vaccine candidates “based on scientific merit and scalability” and works with manufacturers to promote the expansion of production capacities before vaccines are approved.

Self-financing countries and economies that join in the COVAX Facility can request vaccine doses to innoculate up to 50% of their populations. The Facility serves as a critical insurance policy that will increase their chances of securing vaccines.

Self-financing countries joining the COVAX Facility can participate through a Committed Purchase Arrangement or an Optional Purchase Arrangement. 

As the name implies, self-financing countries opting for a Committed Purchase, such as Mexico, need to make committed guarantees to procure an agreed volume of doses through the Facility. These countries will be required to provide a lower upfront payment of US$ 1.60 per dose or 15% of the total cost per dose.

“Under this type of agreement, participants are effectively committing to purchase a set number of vaccines that, once available, will be fairly and equitably allocated amongst participants. Countries will have the ability to opt out of purchasing a vaccine should the price of the vaccine be twice (or more) that which was expected,” said Gavi.

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