€400 million EU boost for WHO-led vaccine initiative

Singapore’s Indian hypermarket to send back foreign workers

€400 million EU boost for WHO-led vaccine initiative

Farmers protest EU’s agricultural policy at Koblenz, Germany. Reuters

Brussels, August 31

The European Commission said it would contribute 400 million euros ($476 million) to an initiative led by the World Health Organization to buy Covid-19 vaccines, but did not clarify whether EU states would acquire shots through the WHO scheme.

Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President

For low-income nations

Today, the commission is announcing a 400 million euro contribution to COVAX for working together in purchasing future vaccines to the benefit of low and middle income countries. 

The initiative, dubbed COVAX, aims to purchase for all countries in the world 2 billion doses of potential Covid-19 shots from several vaccine makers by the end of 2021. The EU financial support will be provided through guarantees, the Commission said. A spokeswoman for the EU executive did not clarify how these guarantees would be offered and why they were preferred to direct funding in cash.

"Today, the commission is announcing a 400 million euro contribution to COVAX for working together in purchasing future vaccines to the benefit of low and middle income countries," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

The EU Commission is negotiating advance purchases of Covid vaccines with several drugmakers on behalf of the 27 EU states and has said in past weeks EU governments cannot buy vaccines through parallel procurement schemes. Asked whether its guidance to EU states not to buy vaccines through COVAX was now dropped, a commission spokeswoman declined to elaborate. — Reuters

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