Two scientists prepare a sample

Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator

Developing vaccines, treatments and tests and securing equitable access for all will only be possible through international collaboration.

The ACT (Access to Covid-19 Tools) Accelerator is a global partnership between governments, scientists, businesses, civil society, philanthropists and international health organisations brought together in an unprecedented way. It seeks to accelerate development, production and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, treatments, tests, and health systems through global collaboration.

It is organised into four focused pillars:

Vaccines (‘COVAX’)

 

To have the greatest impact in slowing the virus’ spread, and bring it under control internationally, we need global access to vaccines on an equitable basis – as quickly as possible.

COVAX aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines to guarantee fair and equitable access across the world. It is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

COVAX works by pooling financial resources to develop vaccines, purchase them at scale, and investing in up-front manufacturing so that vaccines are ready to be distributed as soon as they are licensed. The risks and benefits of developing and producing vaccines are shared across the countries taking part.

More information on COVAX can be found on the CEPI and Gavi websites.

Treatments

 

Treatments are not just a contingency until a vaccine is developed. Effective treatments could be a gamechanger in the fight against coronavirus – from helping patients fight the virus by lessening the severity of infection, to reducing the pressure on global healthcare systems and economies. Progress has already been made with corticosteroids that have been found to reduce the risk of mortality in patients with severe Covid-19.

Led by Unitaid and The Wellcome Trust, this pillar is focusing on the development, manufacture and distribution of 245 million Covid-19 treatments over the next 12 months.

Tests

 

The rapid development and distribution of easy, accurate and rapid tests is critical to preventing and controlling the virus globally.

This pillar is co-convened by The Global Fund and FIND. It is focused on sourcing 2–3 high-quality rapid tests, training 10,000 healthcare professionals across 50 countries and establishing testing for 500 million people in Low and Middle-Income countries by mid-2021.

Health system strengthening

 

The health systems strengthening focus area, led by The World Bank and The Global Fund, is working to ensure that the delivery of health interventions, such as vaccines, treatments and tests can reach the people who need them.

There is also a focus on how these tools will be fairly allocated globally to reduce the burden of Covid-19 on all countries.

More information on the ACT Accelerator can be found on the WHO website.

Two scientists check a sample

Vaccine safety and production

The safety of any vaccine is of paramount importance. Both the rigorous clinical and licensing processes for a new COVID-19 vaccine will adhere to the usual strict requirements of independent regulatory authorities.

The pace at which potential Covid-19 vaccines are being developed reflects the urgency and unprecedented resource the international community is putting into this effort.

Around the world, researchers, medical professionals and data scientists are working together at pace. Vaccine developers have been able to move with unprecedented speed by compressing timelines – carrying out phases of testing and manufacturing processes in parallel. This means that any Covid-19 vaccine is developed at the same high standard as usual.

More information on how clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccines are being carried out quickly, without compromising on safety, can be found on the Gavi and The Wellcome Trust websites.

 

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