World leaders to pledge funding for COVID-19 vaccine effort


Countries and private donors pledged almost US$2.4 billion on Wednesday to the Covax vaccine-sharing plan, expanding efforts to make Covid-19 shots more available to people in poorer nations.

Japan is donating another $800 million to the COVAX facility, in addition to the $200 million the country has already disbursed, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday.

Japan has approved three foreign-developed vaccines and is now using ones from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.

South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said: "Vaccines with proven safety and efficacy should be produced in sufficient scale and rapidly distributed worldwide, including to countries that are vulnerable to health impacts". "Japan fully supports efforts to ensure equitable access to safe and effective vaccines for as many people as possible". He said the additional $800 million will bring Japan's contribution to $1 billion, second to the $2.5 billion pledged by the United States. The European Union has also collectively committed 100 million doses.

Guterres said 10 countries had administered more than 75 percent of all COVID-19 vaccines, while in poor countries even health workers and people with underlying conditions can not access them.

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"Our collective future depends on our collective response to the global crisis", Harris said. "And that is why we must work together to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible in every nation throughout the world".

A statement issued online by the Ministry of Health said, "Commissioned by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Saidi, Minister of Health, participated in the virtual summit of COVAX, under the title "One Protected World" through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi), which is led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners to ensure the acceleration of the distribution of vaccines to low-income countries in a fair manner".

Suga also plans to offer part of Japan's vaccine supply to the effort during the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, the sources said, without specifying the number of doses.

Japan is looking to increase its contribution to the COVAX Facility partly to counter China, which is offering vaccines to developing countries as it expands its economic and military influence across the Indo-Pacific region.

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