The COVID-19 pandemic has killed millions of people and disrupted the lives of billions. Equitable global access to effective COVID-19 vaccines is essential to reduce the impact of this pandemic. By joining the COVAX Facility, France has made vaccine donations one of its priorities, to support vulnerable countries which have been hit hard by the pandemic and help increase vaccine coverage on a global scale.
In August 2022, barely a year after committing to vaccine donations, France has fulfilled and even gone beyond its target, providing 124 millon doses, almost 80 million of which were distributed to partner countries.
With a virus that knows no borders, nobody is safe until everybody is safe. Solidarity is our best weapon in fighting this pandemic and vaccine donations are an essential component.
One year ago, the French President committed to share 120 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to support vaccination in developing countries. In August 2022, France fulfilled and even exceeded that goal: 124 million doses have been provided, almost 80 million of which have already reached the field.
France was the 1st country worldwide to donate vaccines via the COVAX Facility in April 2021. It is now the 3rd donor country, behind the United States and Germany. The choice of the multilateral channel that is the COVAX Facility, which brings together Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF, illustrates the desire to enable effective global distribution of vaccines in accordance with rational, equitable World Health Organization (WHO) criteria.
In this context, France’s support through vaccine dose donations focused on the most vulnerable countries and those with the most fragile health systems. This largely included African countries and densely populated countries with high needs. France allocated for example almost 50% of our donations (45 million doses) to Africa, and 40% to South and South-East Asia.
Delivering doses is important, but vaccinating populations is even more so. France was therefore also quick to work to support vaccination campaigns in the field. That included the creation of a specific partnership with UNICEF and projects implemented by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). These actions, with funding of €25 million, are being implemented in several African countries and aim to provide populations with access to vaccines and to fight COVID-19 disinformation.
“France is making global vaccine coverage a priority and remains determined to rally the international community in support of the countries hit hard by the pandemic.” Jean-Yves Le Drian, communiqué of 29 October 2021.
France focuses its efforts on the most vulnerable countries, which have very fragile healthcare systems and less access to vaccines, by giving more to low- and middle-income countries benefiting from the COVAX Facility. It has already allocated 42 million doses to African partner countries, including 10 million through the African Union and its AVAT programme. In January 2022, 40 African countries had received French doses, and we are continuing our efforts to help this part of the world.
Beneficiary regions of donations, since April 2021
These donations are made up of the same vaccines used by France in its vaccination campaign – AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Janssen and Moderna. There are enough doses to vaccinate the equivalent of the French population, at least (every French citizen will have given one other person in the world the opportunity to be vaccinated). Donations began at the same time as the vaccination campaign in France. They are a significant financial contribution in the spirit of true solidarity.
Types of vaccines donated in 2021
Types of vaccines donated through to mid-2022
The COVAX Facility, which brings together international partners such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and UNICEF, has been supported by France and its European partners since its creation in April 2020. Its aim is to enable the development and production of and equitable access to safe vaccines against COVID-19 by organizing the purchase and delivery of vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries, in line with the WHO-approved global allocation framework for fair access and effective vaccines. It also helps higher income countries that want to buy the vaccines for themselves (“self-financing” countries).
Delivery channels since April 2021
Donations via the COVAX Facility
This unique facility was designed to enable vaccine coverage of at least 45% of the population in developing countries by mid-2022, targeting priority persons. With more than one billion doses sent as of January 2022, COVAX is the most concrete multilateral response to truly making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good.
Dose donations quickly became essential to support the COVAX Facility’s work. These donations currently represent almost a third of the vaccine doses delivered by COVAX and are therefore instrumental in speeding up vaccination campaigns all around the world and fighting the development and spread of new variants that threaten the progress that has been made in the pandemic response.
The French approach is part of a collaboration with the major international health organizations (WHO, UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance), beneficiary countries, civil society actors, particularly those on the ground and regional organizations such as the African Union and its AVAT mechanism, a partnership which delivered 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines to African countries in autumn 2020.
An interministerial Task Force, headed by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, was set up in summer 2020 to organize and monitor donations of COVID-19 vaccines, bringing together the relevant departments of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Solidarity and Health in collaboration with the diplomatic and cooperation network, fully focused on the issue.
- AstraZeneca: signed on 22 April 2021; 1st COVAX donation: 26 April 2021 (Mauritania)
- Pfizer: signed on 17 August 2021; 1st COVAX donation: 27 October 2021 (Rwanda)
- Janssen: signed on 25 October 2021; 1st donation 22 July 2021 (Tunisia)
- Moderna: signed on 7 November 2021; 1st COVAX donation 25 November 2021 (Kyrgyzstan)
Table of completed deliveries (2021)
Map of deliveries
- Read the French Presidency’s article “A billion vaccine doses have been delivered with COVAX”
- Rwanda – Donation of nearly 400,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine
- Press release “France donates 67 million vaccine doses”, October 2021
- Press conference by President Emmanuel Macron following the G20 in Rome
Update: August 2022