France has fulfilled and gone beyond its commitment to donate COVID-19 vaccine doses [fr]
One year ago, the French President committed to share 120 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to support vaccination in developing countries. In August 2022, France fulfilled and even exceeded that goal: 124 million doses have been provided, almost 80 million of which have already reached the field.
France was the 1st country worldwide to donate vaccines via the COVAX Facility in April 2021. It is now the 3rd donor country, behind the United States and Germany. The choice of the multilateral channel that is the COVAX Facility, which brings together Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF, illustrates the desire to enable effective global distribution of vaccines in accordance with rational, equitable World Health Organization (WHO) criteria.
In this context, France’s support through vaccine dose donations focused on the most vulnerable countries and those with the most fragile health systems. This largely included African countries and densely populated countries with high needs. France allocated for example almost 50% of our donations (45 million doses) to Africa, and 40% to South and South-East Asia.
Delivering doses is important, but vaccinating populations is even more so. France was therefore also quick to work to support vaccination campaigns in the field. That included the creation of a specific partnership with UNICEF and projects implemented by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). These actions, with funding of €25 million, are being implemented in several African countries and aim to provide populations with access to vaccines and to fight COVID-19 disinformation.
What is COVAX?
The COVAX Facility, which brings together international partners such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and UNICEF, has been supported by France and its European partners since its creation in April 2020. Its aim is to enable the development and production of and equitable access to safe vaccines against COVID-19 by organizing the purchase and delivery of vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries, in line with the WHO-approved global allocation framework for fair access and effective vaccines. It also helps higher income countries that want to buy the vaccines for themselves (“self-financing” countries).