WHO announces $18B plan to deliver 2B COVID-19 vaccines to high-risk populations

The World Health Organization announced a plan June 26 to purchase and deliver 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for high risk populations, STAT reported. 

By the end of 2021, the doses could be delivered to countries to vaccinate the highest-risk people, including healthcare workers, people over 65, and older adults with comorbidities, the plan states. 

The plan, part of WHO's Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or ACT-Accelerator, program, is estimated to cost $18.1 billion, according to STAT

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance are partnering with the WHO to execute the plan. 

According to the plan, countries will be offered shares of nine vaccines in development that are supported by CEPI. Since it isn't known which vaccine will work, purchasing shares in a pool — which will be called the Covax facility — will enhance a country's chance of having access to a vaccine, STAT reported. It's also expected that charitable donors will help support shares of the vaccine for low and middle income countries. 

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