The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, have announced that Ireland will donate at least one million COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX.
COVAX, co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi and the World Health Organisation (WHO), aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
Minister Donnelly said: “Universal and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments is a priority for Ireland and for the European Union. As the current phase of Ireland’s vaccination programme nears completion, it is important for Ireland to demonstrate solidarity with developing countries during this global pandemic. I am very pleased therefore to announce that Ireland will contribute 1 million Covid-19 vaccines to the COVAX global vaccine initiative.
This donation represents the first step in Irelands commitment to COVAX and vaccine donation, with other possibilities for vaccine sharing to help those most in need likely to arise later in the year.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney said: “I am delighted that the Government has made this decision to share surplus vaccines. It is a mark of Ireland’s solidarity with developing countries during this truly global crisis. To keep ourselves safe, we must ensure everyone is protected from COVID-19. This virus does not respect international borders, as we have learned”.
Minister of State for Overseas Aid and the Diaspora Colm Brophy added: “To ensure that the vaccination rollouts in recipient countries are well-managed and well-resourced, my Department has also allocated an additional €3 million to COVAX before the end of the year. This brings Ireland’s total contribution to COVAX to €7 million in 2021, part of Ireland’s contribution to Global Health of over €100 million”.
Notes to Editor
Universal and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments is a priority for Ireland and for the European Union. Vaccine sharing is epidemiologically important. The WHO has said that, on a global basis, “no one will be safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe”.
It is proposed that Ireland’s donation of COVID-19 vaccines will take place through the COVAX mechanism using a direct tripartite agreement between donor/seller, manufacturer, and beneficiary.
WHAT IS COVAX? (Extract from Covax website www.gavi.org)