Finland donates COVID-19 vaccines to improve global vaccination coverage
Finland will participate in the EU cooperation that enables donation of COVID-19 vaccines purchased in advance. During this autumn, about 3.6 million vaccines will be donated to developing countries. The vaccine donations will not slow down the rollout of vaccinations in Finland.
Vaccines will be distributed through the international COVAX AMC (Advanced Market Commitment) financial mechanism through which world’s poorest countries will get access to COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines are offered to low- and middle-income countries that have experienced problems with their availability.
In its session on 9 September, the Government decided to donate three million Astra Zeneca and 650,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses. The total value of these vaccines is EUR 10 million. The donation is tied to the vaccine doses that remain unused from Finland’s share of the EU’s joint vaccine procurement contract. The vaccines that Finland will donate will be delivered directly from the international pharmaceutical manufacturers to the countries in question.
Finland is committed to vaccine solidarity and participates in the EU Member States’ joint commitment to donate at least 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021. According to the current plans, the EU will donate more than 200 million vaccine doses before the turn of the year. Finland considers this work very important, placing particular emphasis on humanitarian needs and the delivery of vaccines through COVAX AMC to countries that need them the most.
Vaccine donations and support for COVAX AMC will not slow down the rollout of vaccinations in Finland. Finland had originally reserved COVID-19 vaccines in excess of its own needs. If surplus vaccines were not donated to countries in need of them, these vaccines purchased in advance by Finland would remain unused.
Finland has joined the global COVAX financial mechanism, which is a partnership between the global Vaccine Alliance Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. COVAX AMC operates as part of COVAX, supporting the least developed and middle-income countries in the availability of vaccines. Its objective is to speed up the development, broad-based procurement and equal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. For multilateral cooperation, COVAX provides the most important channel for ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The EU is one of the main supporters of the COVAX mechanism. It is of vital importance not only from the perspective of solidarity but also from the viewpoint of health security and economy that the availability of vaccines in third countries is supported. The slower the implementation of vaccination programmes in all countries are, the greater possibilities there are for coronavirus to create variants and develop resistance against COVID-19 vaccines.
Eija Limnell, Counsellor, Unit for Sustainable Development and Climate Policy, tel. + 358 50 576 8985
Kirsi Airio, Special Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 50 574 1729