The Macau SAR government confirmed Monday that it has signed an agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) to participate in its COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (Covax), guaranteeing the city will be able to buy a certain amount of COVID-19 vaccine when available as part of the global program.
The government says it will procure at least 1.4 million doses – enough to cover the entire population of Macau two times over.
However, since the priority for providing vaccines will be high-risk areas in the alliance, Macau would likely receive its vaccine later than other nations. Despite of joining the WHO program, the SAR government will also discuss options with others vaccine suppliers on procurement.
WHO’s Covax agreement aims to develop and distribute around US$2 billion worth of COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2021. It relies on both wealthier and poorer nations contributing money into a pool which will then serve as a guarantee to vaccine manufacturers that a minimum amount will be purchased. Wealthier nations have been encouraged to contribute more.
At present, 150 nations representing 64% of the global population have signed up, including 64 high-income nations.
Another 34 are tipped to sign up soon although, notably, both the United States and China are absent from the list.