The World Bank is to assist US $12 billion in financing to help developing countries to buy and distribute coronavirus vaccines, tests, and treatments.
According to the press release of the bank, the fund is part of a wider World Bank Group package of up to US $160 billion to help developing countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic aiming to support the vaccination of up to 1 billion people.
As COVID-19 emergency response programs are already reaching 111 countries, the citizens in developing countries also need access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the bank said.
“We are extending and expanding our fast-track approach to address the COVID emergency so that developing countries have fair and equal access to vaccines,” said the bank’s president, David Malpass, said in the statement.
The private sector lending institution of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is also funding US 44 billion in vaccine manufacturers through Global Health Platform.
Researchers are working on developing more than 170 potential COVID-19 vaccines.
The world’s richest countries have locked up most of the world’s potential vaccine supply through 2021, raising worries that poor and vulnerable communities will not be able to get the shots.
Meanwhile, in just six months, the world’s largest randomized control trial on COVID-19 therapeutics has generated conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of repurposed drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.
Interim results from the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial, coordinated by the World Health Organization, indicate that remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of COVID-19 among hospitalized patient. The progress achieved by the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial shows that large international trials are possible, even during a pandemic, and offer the promise of quickly and reliably answering critical public health questions concerning therapeutics.