The virus induced pandemic engulfing the world at this moment, knows no borders, ethnicity nor status, Covid 19 has already infected 71 million people and taken 1.6 million lives in Asia and Pacific more that 14.3 million are positive with 200,000 deaths reported. While we welcome the much needed news of vaccines, some nations in these part of the regions who struggle to keep its people from starvation, will be in a quandary on how they are going to acquire the vaccines and distribute them accordingly.
Realising the need that all humans have the right to a vaccine, the Asian Development Bank has taken proactive steps by launching a vaccine initiative that can address the matter-of fact situation. The US$ 9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX)—is aimed to offer rapid and equitable support to its developing members for their procurement and delivery of safe coronavirus vaccines.
“As ADB’s developing members prepare to vaccinate their people as soon as possible, they need financing to procure vaccines as well as appropriate plans and knowledge to be able to safely, equitably, and efficiently manage the vaccination process,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “APVAX will play a critical role in helping our developing members meet these challenges, overcome the pandemic, and focus on economic recovery.”
APVAX will provide a comprehensive framework and resource envelope for supporting developing Asia’s vaccine access, using two complementary components. The Rapid Response Component will provide timely support for critical vaccine diagnostics, procurement of vaccines, and transporting vaccines from the place of purchase to ADB’s developing members.
The Project Investment Component will support investments in systems for successful distribution, delivery, and administration of vaccines along with associated investments in building capacity, community outreach, and surveillance. This may include such areas as cold-chain storage and transportation, vehicles, distribution infrastructure, processing facilities, and other physical investments. The component may also be used to develop or expand vaccine manufacturing capacity in developing members.
The financing for vaccines will be provided in close coordination with other development partners including the World Bank Group, World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX), GAVI, and bilateral and multilateral partners.
ADB is also making available a $500 million Vaccine Import Facility to support the efforts of its developing members to secure safe and effective vaccines, as well as the goods that support distribution and inoculation. The facility is part of ADB’s Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program. AAA-guarantees available through the program’s vaccine import facility will mitigate payment risks and facilitate import of these goods. This will employ the same eligibility criteria on vaccines as COVAX. Co-financing with private sector partners could result in the Import Facility supporting $1 billion in vaccine and related imports within a year.
Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region, Malaysia is a member.