14 August 2020 | News
"The ACT-Accelerator is the only up and running global initiative that brings together all the global R&D, manufacturing, regulatory, purchasing and procurement needed, for all the tools required, to end the pandemic," says WHO Director General.
Photo Credit: WHO
In April 2020, WHO launched access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, as new, groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. The ACT-Accelerator is organized into four pillars of work: diagnostics, treatment, vaccines and health system strengthening.
The access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator brought together governments, scientists, businesses, civil society, and philanthropists and global health organizations (the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CEPI, FIND, Gavi, The Global Fund, Unitaid, Wellcome, the WHO, the World Bank and Global Financing Facility).
On 13 August 2020, in a media briefing WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that "Access to Covid-19 Tools ACT-Accelerator and started in April, has come out with Nine vaccine candidates are already being in the COVAX portfolio and going through Phase 2 or 3 trials; and this portfolio – already the broadest in the world – is constantly expanding".
He further stated, "Through the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility, countries that represent nearly 70% of the global population have signed up or expressed an interest to be part of the new initiative".
"On therapeutics, the first proven therapy for severe COVID-19, Dexamethasone, was announced in June with support from the therapeutic accelerator arm and is currently in scale-up.
On diagnostics, more than 50 tests are currently in evaluation, and new evidence has been generated around rapid antigen detection tests that could be game-changing", he added.
Mentioning ACT-Accelerator as the best economic stimulus the world can invest, Dr Tedros stated that, "The Act-Accelerator is the only global framework for ensuring the fair and equitable allocation of COVID-19 tools. But it must be financed to be successful. IMF estimates the pandemic costs the global economy $375 billion US dollars a month and predicts a cumulative loss to the global economy over two years of over $12 trillion US dollars. The world has already spent trillions dealing with the short-term consequences of the pandemic. G20 countries alone have mobilized more than $10 trillion US dollars in fiscal stimulus to treat and mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. That is already more than three and a half times as much as the world spent in the entire response to the global financial crisis. We estimate that the world will need to spend at least $100 billion US dollars on new tools. The first and most immediate need is $31.3 billion US dollars, for the ACT-Accelerator"
"The world needs multiple vaccine candidates of different types to maximize the chances of finding a winning solution. The ACT-Accelerator enables governments to spread the risk and share the reward. The best solution for everyone is a blend of development assistance and additional financing from stimulus packages to fund this effort", he added.