India in Talks To Join ‘COVAX’ Vaccine Scheme

  • The World Health Organization is in talks with India about joining the “COVAX” global vaccine allocation plan.
  • The WHO and the GAVI vaccine alliance are leading the COVAX facility, aimed at helping buy and distribute vaccination shots against the novel coronavirus fairly around the world.
  • But some countries that have secured their own supplies through bilateral deals, including the United States, have said they will not join COVAX.
  • The WHO had set up a mechanism, known as Covax, aimed at ensuring a more equitable distribution of any future vaccines.
  • UNICEF had announced that it will be leading the procurement and supply of vaccines to ensure that all countries have safe, fast and equitable access to initial doses when they are available.
  • The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world’s largest single vaccine buyer, procuring more than 2 billion doses of various vaccines annually for routine immunisation and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries.
  • GAVI, officially Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public–private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.
  • GAVI brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists. GAVI has observer status at the World Health Assembly.
  • GAVI has been praised for being innovative, effective, and less bureaucratic than multilateral government institutions like the WHO.