by Linda Straker
- Grenada joined Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator
- ACT Accelerator is global collaboration on Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines
- COVAX Global Vaccine Facility is largest and most diverse Covid-19 vaccine portfolio
Health Minister, Nickolas Steele, has confirmed that Grenada is one of 172 countries that has accepted the request from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to join the vaccine arm of “The Access to Covid-19 Tools.”
The Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is a new, groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
“Yes, we are part of the 172 countries who received the request and accepted,” Steele said on Monday, 24 August 2020. “It is not costing us financially,” he added.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, in a news conference on Monday morning (Grenada time) announced that most of the organisation’s members are engaging the COVAX Global Vaccine Facility. The WHO has 194 member states – all of the member states of the United Nations except for Liechtenstein, plus the Cook Islands and Niue. A state becomes a full member of WHO by ratifying the treaty known as the Constitution of the World Health Organisation.
“Last week I sent a letter to all member states requesting them to join the vaccine arm of the ACT accelerator. I am pleased to announce that 172 countries have now engaged with the COVAX Global Vaccine Facility which has the largest and most diverse Covid-19 vaccine portfolio in the world,” Dr Ghebreyesus said.
“At present, there are nine vaccines that are part of this dynamic portfolio, which is constantly being reviewed and optimised to ensure access to the best possible range of products. Even now discussions are ongoing with 4 more producers and a further 9 vaccines are currently under evaluation for the longer term,” he explained in the new conference which was carried live via the WHO Facebook page.
“The facility is critical. It’s the critical mechanism for joined procurement across multiple vaccines so whatever vaccine is proved to be safe all countries within the facility will access them. Most importantly it is the mechanism to enable a globally coordinated roll-out. This is in the best interest of all countries even those that have invested with individual manufacturers independently,” the Director-General told the thousands viewing and listening to the live news conference.
“We are working with vaccine manufacturers to provide all countries that join the effort, timely and equitable access to all vaccines, licensed and approved. This does not just pool risk, it also means that prices will be kept as low as possible,” said Ghebreyesus.