COVAX global vaccine mechanism works - Foreign Minister

COVID-19 – COVAX mechanism – Reply by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the Senate

Paris, 10 March 2021

You’re right, international solidarity against COVID isn’t solely a moral issue; it’s a moral issue, it’s a moral requirement, but it’s also a requirement for collective effectiveness in defeating the pandemic. And in this regard, there’s an instrument we promote, which you mentioned and which works, namely COVAX.

That instrument was initiated at the request of France and Germany, with the European Union’s support. It’s now shared by virtually every country in the world, because we’d like to ensure – as you would, I think – that the vaccine is a global public good.

And that’s why we’ve now raised more than $2 billion through COVAX, to enable the 92 countries clearly identified as the weakest to have immediate access – not when we’re in a position to build a production unit in India or South Africa, but straight away! – with laboratories that have signed contracts with the World Health Organization, in other words very clearly identified in terms of traceability and safety.

And it’s not a figment of the imagination, because – you wanted figures – the funding now mobilized will enable us, before the end of the year, to have more than two billion doses for the countries most in difficulty, for free, financed by the international community. So a global public good isn’t wishful thinking, it’s the reality.

And specifically, the first doses have already arrived now in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire… I can give you the whole list if you want, with the number of doses: Ghana 600,000, Côte d’Ivoire 504,000, Nigeria four million doses, Senegal 300,000 etc. So it’s an operation that works, initiated by France – which goes to show that when we say we want the vaccine to be a global public good, we’re firmly rooted in reality. And it’s also for our own safety./.

Published on 11/03/2021

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