COVID-19 vaccines and international cooperation
Finland participates in the international COVAX Facility. COVAX’s objective is to speed up the development, broad-based procurement and equal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. COVAX is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international alliances CEPI and GAVI in partnership with UNICEF.
CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, is responsible for financing epidemic preparedness and the development and manufacture of vaccines. GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, procures vaccines for lower-income countries through purchase agreements, for example. UNICEF has a key role in delivering vaccines. WHO is responsible for assessing the quality and safety of vaccines, and it also supports countries in preparing their health systems for rolling out vaccination programmes.
Finland is committed to vaccine solidarity, and it joined COVAX as part of Team Europe (the EU and its Member States). Team Europe is one of the main supporters of COVAX, and its key aim is to promote access to vaccines in the world’s poorest countries.
Finland has pledged EUR 12 million for the COVAX AMC mechanism that was developed to support lower-income and middle-income countries. In addition, Finland shows its support for international vaccine cooperation by donating EUR 1 million to CEPI in 2021 and EUR 500,000 to the International Vaccine Institute (IVI).
In line with the government decision of 9 September 2021, Finland has committed to donating a total of 3.65 million vaccine doses to lower-income and middle-income countries through the COVAX AMC mechanism as part of the Team Europe collaboration. Of these, three million are AstraZeneca and 650,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses.
- Finland donates COVID-19 vaccines to improve global vaccination coverage (Ministry for Foreign Affairs, press release, 9 September 2021)
- Finland’s first donation of COVID-19 vaccines to Côte d’Ivoire (Ministry for Foreign Affairs, press release, 4 November 2021)
In future, Finland’s vaccine donations will be delivered to the countries that need them almost weekly in accordance with the allocation criteria applied by COVAX. Finland is also preparing to make additional donations.
A total of 191 countries participate in the COVAX Facility. For multilateral cooperation, COVAX provides the most important channel for ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The World Health Organization (WHO) publishes on its website an updated list of all the vaccine candidates currently under development: