Gavi wants to assess COVAX

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A COVID-19 vaccine in Guatemala. Photo by: Pan American Health Organization / CC BY-NC

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is laying out the groundwork to evaluate COVAX, the global procurement mechanism for COVID-19 vaccines. It is seeking proposals on evaluability and multistage evaluation design for COVAX, followed by a baseline study to assess whether changes need to be made in its design, and to measure its effectiveness and performance.

Gavi and partners “are keen to ensure the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from the COVAX Facility and COVAX Advance Market Commitment are independently evaluated and documented, both from a learning and an accountability perspective,” according to the proposal.

What is COVAX? COVAX was launched in mid-2020 to accelerate the development of and ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines globally. It received overwhelming support from countries that signed up either to the COVAX Facility — which covers self-financing countries — or the COVAX Advance Market Commitment — which covers 92 middle- and lower-income countries. Vaccines purchased for COVAX AMC countries are mainly funded by official development assistance.

Interested bidders should submit their proposals by May 23. The successful evaluator may be considered for future bid opportunities related to COVAX Facility and COVAX AMC multistage evaluation.

Why an evaluation matters: COVAX has achieved some successes — as of Wednesday, it had shipped 49 million doses to 120 countries, or 2.45% of its 2 billion doses target in 2021. But COVAX has also struggled in securing doses, and some experts have raised questions about its design.

About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.