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Sweden invests heavily in global access to vaccines in fight against COVID-19 pandemic

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Sweden invests heavily in global access to vaccines in fight against COVID-19 pandemic

The government presents a significant investment in global health totaling more than SEK 2.5 billion to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines, prevent and manage the risk of corruption and counter the effects of displacement on health systems in the poorest countries in the world.

More than a year has passed since the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Globally, more than 130 million people have been infected and at least 2.8 million people have lost their lives. Meanwhile, 114 million people lost their jobs, 120 million were pushed into extreme poverty and for more than 168 million children, schools were closed for almost a year. It is a major achievement that we now have safe and effective vaccines, but to be effective vaccines must reach all countries, not just the wealthy. COVAX, the global vaccine initiative, has already reached over 100 countries – with over 60 countries receiving donor-funded doses – [HH1] but more resources are needed for these efforts to continue. Global access to vaccines is not just a matter of solidarity – without vaccines there is an increased risk of harmful mutations that threaten all countries, including Sweden, economic recovery will be hampered and years of development are at risk. to be lost. The pandemic has also had significant displacement effects on health systems in the world’s poorest countries. Therefore, there is a need to continually invest in essential preventive measures such as routine immunization and resilient health systems. In addition, there is an increased risk of corruption when the global demand for vaccines is so great.

The government is responding to the challenges with a comprehensive global health initiative:

  • Sida’s instructions will be made more explicit, with a focus on tackling the effects of displacement and investing in resilient health systems.
  • The government [intends to/will] Also contributing SEK 2.25 billion to COVAX, which together with previous contributions amounting to SEK 200 million will make Sweden the world’s largest donor to COVAX in terms of population. The contribution is made through the International Financing Facility for Immunization (IFFIm)with payments over a period of 10 years.
  • At the same time, Sweden will also provide an additional 250 million Swedish kronor to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi) to ensure access to essential vaccines in low- and middle-income countries.
  • The government has decided to provide 10 million Swedish kronor to Transparency International to fight corruption and counterfeit vaccines during the vaccination phase. In addition, Sweden will participate in a global initiative to take advantage of new technologies to ensure that vaccines actually reach their destination.

Sweden’s increased support for COVAX is showcased today via a video message from Prime Minister Stefan Löfven as part of the virtual launch of the COVAX AMC investment opportunity, together with heads of state from Colombia, d ‘El Salvador, Moldova, Democratic Republic of Congo, Norway, New Zealand, Portugal and Cabo Verde, hosted by the United States.

“This initiative demonstrates the government’s strong commitment to global health and access to COVID-19 vaccines in particular. This makes Sweden the largest global donor to COVAX relative to our population, and the fourth largest donor overall. We are doing this to show solidarity, but also to contribute to our common goal of ending the pandemic, ”said Minister of International Development Cooperation Per Olsson Fridh.

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