As of October 9, 171 high-, low-, and middle-income countries — representing nearly two-thirds of the world’s population — signed up to Covax. This includes China, which had missed a previous deadline for joining. That’s a remarkable feat of collaboration, particularly at a time when globalism and multinationalism are under threat.
Covax has two major parts: The “Facility” is a purchasing pool for higher income countries, and the “Advance Market Commitment,” or AMC, is a fundraising effort for poorer countries.
By promising to buy a certain number of vaccine doses from manufacturers, countries that join the Facility get access to any vaccines that are approved in Covax’s portfolio, while also creating a global market for the shots and driving prices down. The AMC, meanwhile, directs development aid as well as private sector and philanthropy donations to low- and middle-income countries that may not otherwise be able to afford a coronavirus vaccine. (So far, the AMC is partially funded with about $1.8 of the $2 billion needed by the end of 2020, according to Gavi.)
Together, all countries that are part of Covax are supposed to follow a plan for fairly distributing the vaccine in order to prevent self-interested hoarding at the national level. By working together, the highest-risk people in every country can get immunized, instead of all residents of the wealthiest nations.