Fighting COVID‑19 together in a spirit of solidarity: Germany donates vaccines
Germany’s vaccine donation for Ukraine: fighting COVID‑19 together, © German Embassy in Kyiv
The German Government is working to ensure the fair and efficient distribution of vaccines and is supporting the global efforts to fight the pandemic to the tune of 2.2 billion euro. Germany is making available vaccines directly for the first time – 1.5 million doses arrived in Ukraine on 21 August.
2.2 billion euro for vaccines, diagnostic tools and medicines
The pandemic can only be overcome if it is brought under control all over the world. Germany thus opted early on to focus on finding joint responses to the pandemic in a spirit of solidarity. In keeping with the principle “nobody is safe until everybody is safe”, Germany co‑founded the Access to COVID‑19 Tools Accelerator (ACT Accelerator) last year. As the second largest donor to the ACT Accelerator at present, Germany has provided 2.2 billion euro to date. Most of this support is going to the international vaccine platform COVAX, while some is being used for diagnostic tools and medication to treat COVID‑19. By early August, a total of more than 200 million doses of the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and BioNTech vaccines had already been sent to 138 states.
Germany will make available at least 30 million vaccine doses by the end of the year
As Germany has sufficient vaccines to cover its needs and is keen to tackle supply shortages in global vaccine production, the German Government is donating vaccines as of now. Germany will provide at least 30 million doses by the end of the year to countries in transition and developing countries. Germany will thus help ensure improved access to vaccines throughout the world.
The donation of vaccines has begun: 1.5 million doses arrived in Ukraine on 21 August 2021.
All in all, Germany has already given around 3.7 million doses of AstraZeneca to COVAX. In addition to Tajikistan, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uzbekistan are to receive vaccines. These countries were selected by COVAX because they have made it known that they need the vaccines particularly urgently and are in a position to use them immediately in their vaccination campaigns.
The EU is planning to provide at least 200 million vaccine doses, while the United States has donated around 110 million doses so far. The G7 intend to supply a total of at least 870 million doses by the end of 2022. The majority of these donations are to be given to COVAX, which knows conditions in the recipient countries best and can therefore distribute the vaccines fairly around the world. AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and BioNTech vaccines are currently being supplied via COVAX. It has also concluded a preliminary contract for 350 million doses of the Novavax vaccine. Novavax intends to apply for a licence in the autumn.
The German Government is also providing a smaller amount of doses via bilateral channels. These doses will go to countries including Ukraine, Namibia and Western Balkan states. On 21 August 2021, 1.5 million doses arrived in Ukraine.
Multilateral solutions instead of vaccine nationalism
Germany and the EU are committed to finding a multilateral solution to the pandemic and to ensuring fair, transparent and affordable access to COVID‑19 vaccines, medicines and diagnostics around the globe. Ensuring that this access is not tied to political conditions represents a joint approach which stands in contrast to the bilateral pledges and vaccine nationalism of some states. However, donations and financial support alone are not enough. Germany and the EU are therefore actively working to promote the production of vaccines in Africa in particular. Germany wants to secure regional healthcare in the long term and will provide funding to help set up vaccine production in countries including South Africa and Senegal.
The COVAX Manufacturing Taskforce was established in order to increase the supply and production of vaccines. The aim is to increase the number of doses which can be produced at short notice, ensuring that COVAX has priority. The 92 poorest countries are the particular focus of attention. In addition, vaccine production in the global South is to be expanded. Germany and South Africa are the co‑chairs.
It will also remain a priority to distribute not only vaccines but medicines and testing materials, too. Healthcare systems weakened by COVID‑19 must be strengthened for the future.
Germany is engaged – worldwide
Germany is helping with more than just vaccines. It also receives requests for ventilators, masks and medical equipment from all over the world. Germany has provided support to around 100 countries and has launched three major relief packages. Among other things, 1400 ventilators have been donated. At present, around 24 million KN95 masks and 197 million surgical masks are being supplied as relief goods. Furthermore, Germany has made available 450 million euro for humanitarian assistance in the context of COVID‑19 in order to help people in humanitarian emergencies.
With a view to learning from the pandemic and making use of the experience that has been gained in the future, Germany is also calling for the WHO to be strengthened. A special WHO session in November will discuss possible measures to this end, including the idea of an international pandemic treaty.