"COVAX, the global initiative to coordinate the distribution of COVID-19
vaccines in an equitable way, is crucial for bringing the pandemic under
But COVAX’s aim of delivering 2 billion doses to participating countries by the
end of 2021 — including 92 low-income countries that can’t afford to buy
vaccines directly from manufacturers — is threatened by chronic
under-investment, vaccine nationalism and export restrictions.
COVAX is not intended only for low-income countries: Canada has so far received
316,800 doses through the scheme. As such, it represents an important
“insurance policy” for Australia, potentially enabling access to a wider
portfolio of vaccines than we could secure through negotiations with suppliers.
The vulnerability of our vaccine procurement strategy has become clearer over
the last few weeks, with supply blockages limiting vaccine imports from Europe
and now the government’s warning about the AstraZeneca vaccine and its links to
a rare blood-clotting disorder.
Saving COVAX will require more than donations (of both funds and vaccines), as
well as the removal of export bans. Countries must collaborate to urgently
remove the legal and technical barriers preventing more widespread vaccine
manufacturing in order to increase the global supply of vaccines for COVAX to
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics