The World Bank said Monday that its Board of Executive Directors has approved $12 billion in financing for developing countries to purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.
What Happened: The sum will support the vaccination of up to one billion people and constitutes a part of a larger $160 billion World Bank Group package aimed at helping 111 developing countries fight the pandemic, the World Bank said in a statement.
The financial institution says the new round of financing is a signal to the research and pharmaceutical industry that developing nation citizens also need access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Why It Matters: World Bank Group said it has “significant expertise” in supporting large-scale immunization programs for vaccine-preventable diseases.
The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, is investing $4 billion in vaccine manufacturers through its Global Health platform.
In the implementation of its program, the World Bank will support multilateral efforts led by the World Health Organization and COVAX.
Recently, China became the largest economy to join the COVAX initiative. President Xi Jinping has pledged $2 billion to fight the fallout of the pandemic.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) meanwhile has suffered a setback as its vaccine trial was halted on Monday as a volunteer developed an unexplained illness. AstraZeneca plc’s (NYSE:AZN) trials remain suspended in the United States after a patient developed symptoms of a serious neurological disorder.