Norway delivers on pledge to donate five million Covid-19 vaccines through Covax

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In 2021, Norway pledged to donate five million of its own vaccines to the global effort to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The pledge has now been met, helping to achieve more equitable distribution of vaccines to low-income countries.

‘Better global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines is essential if we are to beat the pandemic. In addition to allocating considerable funding for vaccine procurement, Norway is working to encourage a greater number of wealthy nations to share vaccines with low-income countries. Delivering on our pledge is important both because these vaccines are sorely needed in poor countries, and because it shows that we fulfil our international commitments. That is precisely what we are asking other countries to do,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.  

In the spring of 2021, Norway committed to donating at least five million Covid-19 vaccines. Norway has now shared over five million vaccine doses under the Covax global vaccine initiative. These doses will be used to increase vaccine access in countries that still have low vaccination rates. 

Roughly 1.5 million of the doses donated by Norway have been distributed so far, mainly to African countries. In addition, Norway has donated 896 000 doses as part of a bilateral collaborative effort with the European Commission. Norway has shared vaccines produced by AstraZeneca, Janssen, Moderna, as well as some produced by Pfizer. Donating these vaccines has not caused any delays in Norway’s national vaccination programme.

‘If the virus is allowed to continue to spread unchecked in other countries, new variants can emerge that reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines we currently have against Covid-19. This means that providing vaccines to other countries is an important step in the Norwegian pandemic response as well. Sharing the vaccines that we don’t need in Norway is essential, and it is the right thing to do,’ said Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol.

Only some 6 % of people on the African continent are fully vaccinated. Thus far, 507 million vaccine doses have been distributed in 144 countries under the Covax global vaccine initiative. Norway plans to contribute approximately 30 million vaccine doses internationally.

‘The Government’s political platform clearly states that Norway will take active part in efforts to combat communicable diseases. The Government will support the financing, development and equal distribution of vaccines and other health technologies that the market cannot deliver on its own,’ said Ms Kjerkol.

‘Norway has a long tradition of promoting international health cooperation and will continue these efforts. By investing in health, we are investing in social, economic, and environmentally sustainable development,’ said Ms Tvinnereim. 

  • The Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) is a comprehensive partnership designed to accelerate development, production and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines as part of the global Covid-19 pandemic response.
  • ACT-A is hosted by the World Health Organization and the European Commission. Norway plays an active role as co-chair of the ACT-A Facilitation Council together with South Africa.
  • Efforts under the ACT-A initiative take place across existing international institutions and are organised into four pillars: diagnostics, treatment, vaccines, and a fourth, cross-cutting pillar on health system strengthening.