On Friday, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that it has launched a USD 9 billion initiative to provide its developing member economies with funding to procure and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. The Asia-Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX) has launched a USD 9 billion vaccine initiative by ADB, providing assistance to its developing members as they procure and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, it said in a statement.
ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said,” As ADB’s developing members prepare to vaccinate their people as soon as possible, in order to manage the vaccination process, they need funding to procure vaccines as well as adequate plans and knowledge.” He further noted that APVAX would play a critical role in helping its developing members face challenges to resolve the pandemic and focus on economic challenges.
ADB also added that more than 14.3 million COVID-19 positive cases have been already identified in the Asia-Pacific region. This has caused over 2 lakh deaths. The Asian economy is expected to contract by 0.4 percent in 2020, the first regional gross domestic product contraction since the early 1960s, it added, as the pandemic continues. Besides that, ADB is also making a USD 500 million vaccines import facility available to support the efforts of developing members to ensure that vaccines are safe and reliable, as well as products that facilitate distribution and inoculation.
Framework Of APVAX And ADB:
APVAX offers a comprehensive framework and resource envelope that supports vaccine programs of Asia, it said. Under this, the Rapid Response Portion will provide expanding members of ADB with timely support for essential vaccine diagnostics, vaccine procurement, and transport of vaccines from the place of purchase.
The Investment Portion of the Project will fund investments in systems for the effective procurement, delivery, and administration of vaccines, as well as related capacity-building, community outreach, and surveillance investments. This could include areas such as storage and transport of the cold chain, equipment, infrastructure for distribution, manufacturing facilities, and other physical investments. The portion can also be used in developing members to improve or expand the vaccine manufacturing capacity, ADB said.
“Promoting safe, equitable, and effective access to vaccines is a top priority for ADB’s COVID-19 response efforts,” the Manila-based multilateral funding agency said.
It added that vaccination programs would split the virus transmission chain, save lives, and mitigate the pandemic’s negative economic impacts.
In close cooperation with other development partners, including the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization (WHO the COVID-19 Global Access to Vaccines Facility (COVAX), GAVI, and bilateral and multilateral partners, ADB funding for vaccines will be given. It further claimed that APVAX encourages safe and reliable vaccines to be reasonably available.