The World Health Organization (WHO) has published the investment case for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-Accelerator), which was launched in April.
Divided in four pillars – vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and health systems connector – the ACT-Accelerator brings together some national and regional governments, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations, as well as UN agencies, civil society groups and public health organisations, such as CEPI and Gavi.
The ACT-Accelerator’s work aims to drive “a path to the accelerated development, equitable allocation, and scaled up delivery of 500 million diagnostic tests to low and middle income countries (LMICs) by mid-2021, 245 million courses of treatments to LMICs by mid-2021, and 2 billion vaccine doses of which 50% will go to LMICs by the end of 2021.”
This will cost $31.3 billion in funding for diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines – to date $3.4bn has been pledged to the Accelerator. Although this may seem a significant financing endeavour, the WHO emphasises that “the total cost of the ACT-Accelerator’s work is less than a tenth of what the IMF estimates the global economy is losing every month due to the pandemic.”