The heads of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization held on 9 November the 2nd High-Level Consultations with the CEOs of leading COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing companies. At the meeting, all participants agreed on the urgency of delivering more vaccine doses to low-income countries, where less than 2.5% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
The objective of the meeting was to identify how to ensure more equitable distribution of vaccines and all those participating pledged to continue working together to gain greater clarity on donations, vaccine swaps and delivery schedules so that distribution of the life-saving vaccines can be more effectively targeted towards those countries most in need.
The meeting of the Multilateral Leaders Task Force on COVID-19 built on technical work undertaken by multidisciplinary teams during the months of September and October.
During the consultations, the heads of the four organizations and the CEOs also examined how best to tackle trade-related bottlenecks; how to improve the donation process; what additional steps are needed to reach the vaccination target of 40% of people in all countries by the end of the year; and how to improve transparency and data sharing with the IMF-WHO Vaccine Supply Forecast Dashboard and the Multilateral Leaders Task Force, requiring close collaboration between manufacturers, governments and COVAX on enhanced visibility of delivery schedules, especially for donated doses.
The outlook for 2022 was also discussed, focusing on diversification of manufacturing across regions, as well as strengthening collaboration to achieve the global target of vaccinating 70% of the populations of all countries by the middle of the year. The group acknowledged progress in diversifying manufacturing, with new partnerships in multiple developing country regions, and stressed the need to continue to strengthen such manufacturing collaboration.
The heads of the organizations encouraged all G20 governments to join the effort to meet the vaccination target of 40% by end-2021 by allowing manufacturers to prioritize COVAX and African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) contracts; streamlining donations to COVAX and pledging more doses; exploring possibilities for effective vaccine swaps with COVAX and the AVAT; and eliminating export restrictions to vaccines and their inputs.