A new effort by the COVAX Facility — the COVAX Humanitarian Buffer — received a shot in the arm this week through a new agreement with Johnson & Johnson, which will bring its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine to bear to help approximately 167 million displaced people around the world.
COVAX — the international cooperative effort between Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization — will begin receiving its first doses soon. Without, it fears that the millions of displaced people, who represent some of the most vulnerable on earth, risk exclusion from COVID-19 vaccination. Still, governments and humanitarian agencies can apply to receive doses from the organization, which they will be expected to provide.
By working through an international effort like the Humanitarian Buffer, COVAX can get these vaccines to people even in conflict zones or humanitarian settings, beyond the reach of traditional government vaccination campaigns.
“We believe our single-shot COVID-19 vaccine has a critical role to play in conflict zones and other humanitarian settings that can’t be reached by government vaccination campaigns, and we are proud to be part of this effort to protect the world’s most vulnerable people,” Dr. Paul Stoffels, vice chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer for J&J, said. “From the beginning of the pandemic, Johnson & Johnson has recognized that no one is safe until everyone is safe and has worked to develop and deliver a vaccine that can protect the health of people everywhere.”
For both the COVAX Facility and the African Union, J&J will make up to 900 million doses of its vaccine available through 2022. It will be provided on a not-for-profit basis for emergency use during the pandemic. The company has also encouraged countries with available doses to increase dose sharing through organizations like the COVAX Facility to guarantee equitable access.