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Latest COVAX funding drive gathers over CHF2 billion

COVAX vaccines awaiting use in Pakistan, May 8, 2021. Keystone / Ministry Of Health Handout

Switzerland has pledged an additional CHF300 million ($334 million) to the international initiative to get more Covid-19 vaccines to poorer countries.

This content was published on June 2, 2021 - 17:24
swissinfo.ch/ug

At an online summit of the GAVI allianceExternal link on Wednesday, attended by Swiss President Guy Parmelin, a total of CHF2.16 billion and 54 million additional vaccine shots were pledged by dozens of countries to the COVAX vaccine-sharing pool.

The COVAX mechanism, which has distributed 77 million doses to 127 countries, aims to accelerate access to 1.8 billion vaccine doses, covering nearly 30% of poorer nations’ populations.

More than a third of the Swiss contribution will be concretely used to improve global access to vaccines, said Parmelin, who joined the calls for harmonised efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

The Swiss parliament is due to sign off on the contribution during the current June session.

However, in his statement to summit participants on Wednesday, Parmelin did not mention government plans to further donate some three million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as reported by the Swiss news agency, Keystone-SDA.

Switzerland had purchased the doses from the Swedish-British company last year but drugs regulator, Swissmedic, has yet to approve the vaccine.

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