Japan may contribute extra US$700 mln to COVAX vaccine program

Thursday, 2021-05-13 11:08:57
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Japan's further contribution will be in addition to US$200 million already contributed to COVAX.
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Japan may contribute a further US$700 million to the UN-backed COVAX facility program aimed at providing equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to low-to-middle-income countries, government sources said on Wednesday.

The finalized plan will be announced by Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide in an online "vaccine summit" to be hosted by Japan on June 2, the sources said.

Japan's further contribution will be in addition to US$200 million already contributed to COVAX.

Among pressing issues, the June 2 summit will focus on the planned dispatch and delivery of 1.8 billion doses of vaccine to cover 30 percent of the population of developing countries this year, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

Thus far, members contributing to the WHO-led COVAX program have raised US$6.6 billion for the planned delivery, with leaders expected to discuss measures to accumulate the outstanding US$1.7 billion needed to bring the delivery through to fruition, the ministry said.

The online "vaccine summit" will be hosted with Gavi, an alliance of governments, international organizations, companies and charities that comprise the global vaccine alliance that co-leads the COVAX facility.

It is expected to be attended by more than 30 countries, including the United States and some member countries from Europe among others, said the ministry.

Xinhua