US billionaire Bill Gates on Wednesday pushed for more support for the COVAX facility, asking developed countries to share their excess shots to ensure more equal access to coronavirus vaccines around the globe.
According to the businesses magnate, who is also a co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, more than 80% of the first billion shots went to people in wealthy countries.
“We must raise more funds for COVAX to help this work go full speed. High-income countries have reserved more vaccines than they need, so without compromising their own domestic vaccination efforts, these countries can be part of the effort to accelerate global vaccine access by sharing the excess doses,” Gates said during the Gavi COVAX AMC Summit, encouraging those countries to share over a billion doses this year.
The COVAX facility has been established to even out the playing field by providing access to vaccines against the disease to low- and middle-income countries. COVAX aims to distribute close to 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021, in an unprecedented global effort to guarantee access to vaccines for all.