On Thursday, 4 June, President Simonetta Sommaruga represented Switzerland at the Global Vaccine Summit. The summit, which was originally due to have taken place in London at the UK’s invitation, was instead conducted by video conference. Among the issues addressed was how any future vaccine against COVID-19 could be made globally accessible.
Switzerland will contribute CHF 30 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. In her video statement on Thursday, Ms Sommaruga said the prospect of developing a vaccine gives people hope: "Switzerland shares with others the aim of accelerating research, development and production of a vaccine, as well as its equitable distribution". The organisations active in these fields will play a key role in this regard. Due to its mandate and experience, Gavi is well placed to ensure that any future vaccine against COVID-19 will also reach people in the poorest countries.
The Geneva-based Vaccine Alliance is an important player in the field of healthcare; it is based on a partnership between the public and private sectors. Gavi finances vaccine programmes in developing countries, particularly for children, and seeks to strengthen primary healthcare so that all people everywhere receive vaccinations.