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Lessons Learned from COVAX: Implications for Future Pandemic Preparedness and Response


  • Javier Guzman, Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development
  • Tristan Reed, Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank
  • Fernando Ruiz Gómez, Minister of Health and Social Protection, Colombia
  • Azusa Sato, Senior Advisor to the President, Asian Development Bank


  • Amanda GlassmanExecutive Vice President and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

When COVID-19 first emerged, leaders scrambled to design and implement a mechanism to facilitate the global vaccine rollout with urgency and without precedent. In April 2020, the World Health Organization, Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and other organizations launched COVAX – the vaccine pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator – to accelerate the development, production, and equitable global allocation of COVID-19 vaccines. COVAX aimed to procure two billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021 and relied on advance purchasing commitments to provide vaccines to the poorest low- and middle-income countries. By January 2022, COVAX delivered more than 1 billion vaccine doses to 144 countries and territories, contributing to the fastest and largest vaccine rollout in global history. Despite the difficulties of financing global public goods, COVAX has also met its funding target.

Despite these achievements, insufficient supply and vaccine inequity persist, with only 13 percent of the population in low-income countries fully vaccinated against COVID-19, compared to 75 percent in high-income countries. These difficulties and disappointments beg the question—is this model fit-for-purpose to ensure an equitable and efficient response when the next pandemic hits?

Join the Center for Global Development two years after the establishment of COVAX and its Advance Market Commitment financing instrument to reflect on the procurement and deployment of vaccines through COVAX during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers will discuss the successes, struggles, and lessons learned for global coordination to ensure rapid, effective, and equitable access to critical health products like vaccines during health emergencies.

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit your comments via YouTube.

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