Originally published at jnj.com. Johnson & Johnson is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.
Johnson & Johnson welcomes the decision of EU Member States along with Norway and Iceland (Team Europe) to donate almost 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX Facility. As a practical rapid response to the urgent need to scale up equitable access to vaccines, these doses will be utilized to help protect individuals in lower-income countries.
Supported by the European Commission, Team Europe is providing these doses under an agreement signed recently by the Government of Belgium (acting on behalf of Team Europe), Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) and Johnson & Johnson. The agreement will enable doses of the Company’s vaccine to be shipped directly to COVAX for the benefit of low- and middle-income countries through the remainder of this year and into early 2022.
“We welcome the leadership shown by the European Commission and Team Europe in transferring these doses to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination in lower-income countries and to help address the global vaccine equity challenge,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer. “We will continue to support governments that have doses of our vaccine to share, particularly through the COVAX Facility as we believe that it is an essential mechanism to help combat the pandemic globally.”
At a time when only 4.7 percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a global effort is needed to support the WHO’s goals of reaching 40 percent global vaccine coverage by the end of this year, and 70 percent of people everywhere by mid-2022.
Recipient countries are determined by Gavi, who together with Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, will work alongside receiving governments on country readiness and the transfer of these doses. The Company will provide certain supply chains and logistical support to ensure donated vaccines can be delivered to recipient countries as quickly as possible, and we are proud to be working with governments and Gavi to make this happen. First shipments of doses will begin arriving in a number of African countries this week.
The Company has committed to providing its vaccine on a not-for-profit basis globally for emergency pandemic use and is making available up to 500 million doses of its vaccine to the COVAX Facility through 2022. This is in addition to donations by the EU and others of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.