COVID-19: IMF unveils $50 billion plan to vaccinate everyone by mid-2022
Bhushan Koyande/ FPJ

It may require about $50 billion to vaccinate all eligible people around the world by mid 2022, said International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday. IMF proposed an investment programme that could have a global economic benefit of around $9 trillion.

The proposal targets: (1) vaccinating at least 40 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022, (2) tracking and insuring against downside risks, and (3) ensuring widespread testing and tracing, maintaining adequate stocks of therapeutics, and enforcing public health measures in places where vaccine coverage is low.

The benefits of such measures at about $9 trillion far outweigh the costs which are estimated to be around $50 billion—of which $35 billion should be paid by grants from donors and the residual by national governments potentially with the support of concessional financing from bilateral and multilateral agencies.

IMF asked nations to ensure free cross-border flow of raw materials and finished vaccines. It said, "An urgent focus should be to eliminate constraints on cross-border exports of critical raw materials and finished vaccines. Free cross-border flow of vaccine inputs and supplies is essential for the world to achieve its vaccination targets without delay."

Speaking of the export of raw materials to the Indian COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, IMF said, "Governments are taking steps to relax such constraints on raw materials (for example, the recent pledge by the US to facilitate greater access of critical raw material to Indian manufacturers after severe shortages emerged). However, there is scope for greater multilateral action on this front, as significant constraints still remain. Greater access to critical raw materials—combined with a commitment by Indian authorities to maintain no restrictions on exports once near-term shortages ease—will also enable the Serum Institute of India (currently the chief supplier to COVAX) to meet its export commitments, which is important for the path to global vaccination."

IMF also urged countries with a surplus of COVID-19 vaccine to donate to those facing shortages.

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