Japan Pledges US$300-M to Fund Vaccines for Developing Countries

TOKYO – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thurday committed to donate a total of US$300 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to both support its COVID-19 response as well as its work immunizing children in developing nations.

Abe said the total includes an additional US$200 million, on top of US$100 million that Japan pledged at EU’s Coronavirus Global Response Summit last month.

“Japan now pledges the amount of US$300 million to Gavi, more than triple the amount we contributed in the previous replenishment,” the Japanese leader said in a video message during the online Global Vaccine Summit 2020 hosted by British government.

The virtual event raised US$ 8.8 billion from 32 donor governments and 12 foundations, corporations and organizations.

Japan’s new five-year pledge to Gavi will be extended from 2021. Previously, the Japanese government provided US$ 94.8 million to the Geneva-based non-profit global public-private partnership, for the period 2016-2020.

“The development of vaccines is in progress, collecting all the wisdom of humankind. We need to be well-prepared to deliver them speedily to developing countries once they become available. Japan has high hopes for Gavi’s leading role in this regard,” Abe stated.

“I am very pleased to be abe to fully meet the expectation submitted to us by Gavi. As all the efforts and attention of the world are brought to bear on the fight against COVID-19, I would also like to point out that we should not let children’s precious lives be lost, which could otherwise be saved, for interruption of Gavi’s routine vaccination caused by COVID-19,” he added.

Gavi helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. - Florenda Corpuz

(Photo: Screengrab from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance via YouTube)