IMF pitches $50B plan to ramp up vaccinations, end COVID-19 pandemic

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May 21 (UPI) — The International Monetary Fund announced a $50 billion proposal Friday aimed at a quicker end to the COVID-19 pandemic by vaccinating at least 40% of the global population by the end of the year, and 60% a year from now.

The IMF “Proposal to end the COVID-19 Pandemic” report said “urgent action is needed to arrest the rising human toll and economic strain.”

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“No country can return to normalcy until all countries can defeat the pandemic.”

The IMF said accelerating the global vaccination program could generate $9 trillion for the global economy by 2025.

It’s estimated that only about 10% of the global population has so far received at least one vaccine dose

The $50 billion would be spent to increase vaccine production capacity and provide more testing. The funds also would expand the efforts of COVAX, the international partnership to distribute the vaccine to developing countries. The proposal recommends at least $4 billion in grants to COVAX.

The report said that less than 2% of Africa’s population had been vaccinated at the end of April. By contrast, over 40% of the population in the United States and over 20% in Europe had received at least one dose of the vaccine at the end of last month.

“The social and economic costs of the pandemic continue to rise and already diverging recoveries between rich and poor nations looks to worsen,” the IMF report said.

The IMF suggested that at least $35 billion could come from the grant financing of public and private donors, with the rest provided by governments. The report said at least $15 billion is available from COVID-19 funding created by development banks.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden‘s administration said it would begin talks with the World Trade Organization about lifting intellectual property rights for coronavirus vaccines.

Activists and foreign leaders urged the move, saying it would benefit poorer nations. The waiving of pharmaceutical patents on vaccine production allows poorer countries to make their own versions of the shot.