World Bank says its funding helped deliver 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

Healthcare worker administers the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to a woman, in Johannesburg
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank on Monday said its funding had helped deliver 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines around the world and it would reach the 150-million mark by the end of the month, if doses arrive as expected.

World Bank President David Malpass said the multilateral development bank had contracted for nearly 300 million doses, with some $7.5 billion in vaccine financing operations for 69 countries to be committed by the end of December.

Speaking at a conference hosted by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Malpass underscored the need for rich countries to fulfill their generous dose donation pledges as quickly as possible, and unveiled a new database to track which countries needed financial and operational support.

Delivery swaps, like the one recently executed between the African Union, the United States and Moderna, were also helpful to meet near-term needs.

"Readiness and deployment are critical. Ample funding is available and we're working with partners ... to address the current crisis and prepare for future ones," Malpass said, adding that enhanced data and transparency were critical to ensure that resources flowed where they were most needed.

Malpass said the new World Bank Vaccine Deployment Tracker https://www.worldbank.org/en/who-we-are/news/coronavirus-covid19/covid-19-vaccine-deployment-tracker would help resolve specific bottlenecks to scale up vaccine deployment. It is based on joint work between the World Bank and the COVAX Country Readiness and Delivery Team, which includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF and GAVI.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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