World Bank, Gavi urge countries with excess COVID-19 vaccines to release them

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World Bank President David Malpass and José Manuel Barroso, chair of the Gavi vaccine alliance, on Monday discussed the importance of countries with excess COVID-19 vaccine supplies releasing them as soon as possible, the World Bank said.

Malpass expressed his desire to work closely with Gavi on a 2022 strategy, including helping expand vaccine production capacity for developing countries, the bank said in a statement.

The two officials also discussed the need for more transparency by countries, suppliers and development partners on vaccine contracts, and regarding national export and supply commitments and requirements, the bank said.

“During their meeting, President Malpass and Mr. Barroso discussed challenges facing acquisition and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines by developing countries and the importance of countries with excess vaccine supplies releasing them as soon as possible,” it said.

Malpass has been outspoken about the need to accelerate vaccinations to contain the pandemic and limit further economic damage. Last week, he warned the slow rollout of vaccines in Europe could weigh on the region’s economic growth.

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