'Innovative' diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines alongside evidence-based public health measures
On 24 April, the world's leading health organisations joined forces to form the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator group to create a global alliance to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the foundational groups within the collaboration include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organisation (WHO), The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), The Global Fund, UNITAID and the Wellcome Trust.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance board chair Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will act as special envoy for the ACT Accelerator, alongside Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline.
The group will seek to implement, alongside evidence-based public health measures, diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines as quickly as possible in a bid to defeat COVID-19.
Gavi said: "The motivation behind establishing such an unprecedented mobilisation of actors is the belief that as long as COVID-19 threatens any country, the entire world is at risk and therefore every effort must be made to avoid mistakes of the past by ensuring protection is extended to everyone on earth, not just those with the means to afford it."
On 4 May, there will be an online pledging event hosted by the European Union, which will address fundraising and ways to find an equitable approach to rolling out diagnostics and treatments.
On 4 June, the UK government will host the Global Vaccine Summit, an online virtual event, at which Gavi said it will aim to secure at least US$7.4bn for its 2021 to 2025 investment in immunisation in low-income countries.
"The global health community today is facing the biggest public health crisis in a century," said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. "We need to keep on track gains that have collectively saved millions of lives from preventable death. Gavi has 20 years' experience in accelerating the development, production and delivery of vaccines: the world has the structures and the expertise to defeat COVID-19, today we have the commitment."