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Vaccination Programme

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 28 June 2022

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Questions (538)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

538. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the amount of money committed to the COVAX and ACT-Accelerator; and the amount that has been donated to date. [34428/22]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Access to COVID Tools Accelerator (ACT-Accelerator) is the global collaborative initiative launched by the WHO to fast track the development, production, and access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines - for all. The initiative has brought together governments, scientists, businesses, civil society, philanthropists and global health institutions. The ACT-Accelerator has four intervention areas: vaccine development and sharing; testing; therapeutics; and health system strengthening.

Ireland’s contribution to the ACT-Accelerator has been via COVAX, the vaccine pillar. Our total funding commitment to-date is €13.5 million, all of which has been disbursed. Ireland’s funding has been earmarked for dose procurement by low and lower middle income countries; the transport of doses donated by Ireland; and support for in-country delivery systems.  

In addition to financing for COVAX, Ireland has committed to donate up to 5 million doses from our supply chain, largely through the COVAX facility. Over 2 million of these doses have been delivered so far, the majority to countries in Africa. COVAX has been working steadfastly to facilitate the delivery of additional doses from Ireland and the EU although the chronically weak state of health systems in many low-income countries, and high levels of vaccine hesitancy, makes this a slow and challenging process. Nonetheless, COVAX has managed to deliver over 1.5 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines globally. This is a remarkable achievement in the 18 months since the global vaccination campaign commenced.

Ireland’s financial and dose donations to COVAX are complemented by a broader response to the COVID-19 pandemic, grounded in our long-term commitment to SDG 3; better health and well-being for all. Our response to the pandemic has been informed by our previous responses to other infectious disease outbreaks, including HIV and AIDS, and Ebola. We know from our work on these issues the critical value of health system strengthening, the need to engage with and involve communities in infectious disease prevention and control, and the importance of sustaining support for pre-existing conditions such as TB and malaria. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have contributed more than €100 million per annum to Global Health with a focus on health system strengthening in partner countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and through the UN system, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and Gavi. These pre-existing partnerships have been leveraged to ensure an effective Irish Aid response to the COVID pandemic and inform and complement our support for the ACT-Accelerator, and COVAX in particular.

Question No. 539 answered with Question No. 303.
Question No. 540 answered with Question No. 305.
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