Spain has met its commitment to donate 30 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to COVAX by the end of 2021, and to share knowledge by releasing a patent on the virus detection test developed by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
COVAX (Covid Vaccines Global Access) is one of three pillars of the ‘Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator’, which was launched in April last year in response to the Covid pandemic. It brings together governments, global health organisations, manufacturers, scientists, the private sector, civil society and philanthropy, with ‘the aim of providing innovative and equitable access to Covid-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines’. The key aim of the COVAX pillar is to ensure that people in all corners of the world will get access to Covid-19 vaccines once they are available, regardless of their wealth.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez participated in an event in Madrid on Monday – ‘Solidarity vaccination: fulfilling commitments’ – to announce the country’s fulfilment of donating vaccines, accompanied by the Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, and Health Minister, Carolina Darias.
The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, congratulated Spain for being the fifth country in the world in terms of delivering solidarity vaccines and encouraged other countries to follow its example.
The WHO has set a target of vaccinating 40% of the world’s population by the end of 2021 and 70% by the middle of 2022. Pedro Sánchez pointed out that ‘until we are all safe from the virus, we will not be truly protected. Solidarity is not a territorial issue, but a humanitarian one. Faced with a global health problem, the response must be coordinated and multilateral’.
Spain has managed to donate more than 30 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines to COVAX before the end of 2021 – of which more than 7.5 million have reached Latin America. Spain has also released the patent of the CSIC serological test to detect the virus.
Sánchez said: ‘We are in a position to show that you can lead national vaccination and lead global vaccination at the same time, and we can be proud of that.’
‘The key to this has been that the EU made a centralised purchase of vaccines, that Spain has a great National Health System, that the communities have worked in tandem with the government in a great example of co-governance, that our health professionals have set an example with their effort and commitment and that Spaniards have carried out a great exercise of responsibility by vaccinating en masse and trusting in science and in this national health system,’ Sánchez said.
He said that Spain has also pledged to continue donating vaccines to reach 50 million doses by the first quarter of 2022.
‘Latin America, our sister region, has been prioritised, and we are now putting a lot of effort into the Southern neighbourhood and sub-Saharan Africa, our neighbouring region,’ said Sánchez.
Thank you Prime Minister @sanchezcastejon & #Spain 🇪🇸for your leadership & generosity to donate 30 million #COVID19 vaccine doses through the “vaccines for all initiative”. We call on all countries to follow your lead & work together for #VaccinEquity & to end the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/XGP2gsGenO— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) November 22, 2021