CARPHA makes multimillion-dollar down payment on behalf of Caribbean states

October 16, 2020 in Regional

The Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Friday said it has been able to assist several member countries with the more than US$2 million down payment needed to be able to equitable gain access to a safe and effective coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine through the Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX Facility).

The facility provides an opportunity for World Health Organization (WHO) member states to benefit from a portfolio of vaccine candidates using a range of technology platforms produced by manufacturers across the world.

Countries participating in the COVAX Facility will have access to doses of vaccine as a result of the advance purchase commitments made by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI). As doses become available, they will be allocated to all participating member states in accordance with the terms and conditions agreed.

CARPHA executive director, Dr Joy St John, told a virtual news conference that the vaccine will be developed “after the safe and thorough clinical trials of the COVAX Facility.”

She said CARPHA had been able to do this through a cooperation agreement with the European Union and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

“CARPHA has an agreement with the European Union which allows for a pot of money to be given for use of purchase of vaccines and treatments and we were very happy when we learnt of the ways in which the COVAX Facility was being facilitated by PAHO for the Region of the Americas of which Caricom (Caribbean Community) is a sub-region.”

She said after much “discussions and consideration and the involvement and agreement of the member states, we have come to this point where we have been able to transfer money…to PAHO for onward transmission to GAVI for use as the down payment.