Saturday 24th October 2020
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$35bn needed to end acute phase of COVID-19 pandemic

The ACT-Accelerator, the global initiative offering a solution to speed up the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, says it needs $35 billion to meet the goal of developing new tools and producing and delivering two billion vaccine doses, 245 million treatments and 500 million diagnostic tests over the next year.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Photo credit: AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI / Getty Images

Launched on April 24, 2020, ACT-Accelerator combines public and private sector expertise and institutions from around the world to accelerate the development, regulatory approval, scale-up, delivery and equitable allocation of COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.

With the largest portfolio of COVID-19 tools in the world, investing in the ACT-Accelerator increases the probability of being able to access the “winning candidate” and hedges the risk that countries that have already entered individual bilateral agreements end up with products that are not viable.

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The economic rationale for investment include:

  • The global economy is expected to contract by $7 trillion in 2020 because of the pandemic. ACT-Accelerator’s financing gap is $35 billion. Fully financing the ACT-Accelerator to help shorten the duration of the crisis would pay back this investment in less than 36 hours once global mobility and trade are restored.
  • ACT-Accelerator total funding needs represent less than 1% of what G20 governments have already committed to domestic economic stimulus packages. While many countries have made significant investments in domestic R&D and on domestic economic stimulus packages, these investments will not on their own address severe COVID-19 disease, the root cause of the crisis, and the key to restarting all aspects of their economies.
  • A lack of innovation for and sufficient access to effective tests, treatments and vaccines would hold up the recovery for all countries.
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Within five months, the ACT-Accelerator has made significant progress, as evidenced by the status report, published on Friday, September 25, 2020:

  • The Diagnostics pillar is evaluating more than 50 diagnostic tests
  • The Therapeutics pillar is analysing 1,700+ clinical trials for promising treatments and has secured Dexamethasone for up to 4.5 million patients in lower-income countries
  • COVAX vaccine facility – the largest and most varied portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines globally – currently contains nine vaccine candidates and a total of 156 economies, representing nearly two-thirds of the global population, are now committed to or eligible to receive vaccines through the Facility       

Leaders will next meet on September 30 at a high-level side event during the United Nations General Assembly to discuss the work of the ACT-Accelerator, and the financial commitments needed.

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