PAHO supports the global access efforts within the “COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility” through its Revolving Fund. The COVAX Facility is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are rapidly available and affordable to the highest risk populations worldwide, regardless of income level. Member States participating in the COVAX Facility through the PAHO Revolving Fund are recognized as a regional bloc. The COVAX facility will give participating countries access to the world’s largest and most diverse portfolio of vaccine candidates.
There are two groups of participating countries in the COVAX facility: Self-financed countries and COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) countries. As of early October 2020, various self-financing countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean have signed commitment agreements to participate in the COVAX Facility. These binding agreements establish a set of financing requirements for participating countries, such as down/initial payments and financial guarantees. Also, 10 countries and territories in the Region are eligible for support from the COVAX AMC: Bolivia, Dominica, El Salvador Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines. During the Gavi Board Meeting on 29-30 September, an approval was given to the proposal for AMC-eligible countries to cost-share vaccines up to US$1.60-$2 per dose. If AMC countries want to contribute to the Facility, they are encouraged to cost share. However, if cost sharing represents a financial burden for the AMC countries and they cannot, then in principle, this would not be deterrent for the AMC eligible countries. (Note: PAHO estimates that for a typical Gavi transitioned country in the Region, $2.00 USD per dose cost sharing would correspond to at least 130% of the whole annual immunization budget just to cover 20% population.)
From the inception of the COVAX Facility, PAHO has collaborated with its Member States and responded to their queries in accessing this Global Mechanism together with WHO, Gavi and CEPI. For those countries with legal or administrative restrictions that prevent them from transferring their down payments directly to the COVAX Facility, PAHO has offered to canalize these transfers.
Regardless of whether PAHO’s Member States have joined the COVAX Facility through the Revolving Fund, they will continue to receive PAHO’s support in preparing for the introduction of future COVID-19 vaccines, including vaccine demand planning, logistics and cold chain management, strengthening surveillance of Adverse Effects following Immunization (AEFI) and information systems, training of health care workers, generating vaccine demand, and guiding risk and strategic communication strategies and tools.
For more information on the COVAX Facility, visit Gavi: COVAX facility and WHO: COVAX facility