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World Bank Support for Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

The World Bank has approved operations to support vaccine rollout in 78 countries amounting to US$10.1 billion, distributed as follows: IBRD $4.94 billion, IDA $4.91 billion, other funds $.24 billion (includes cofinancing from trust funds, special financing, and global facility financing). For a complete list of projects by country or region please visit our Projects and Operarions website. 


COVID-19 Vaccines Impact

Angola vaccines covid19
Africa: Angola turned the COVID-19 challenge into a development opportunity, by embarking on a digital transformation that positions the individual at the center of the value chain. Read more



East Asia and the Pacific: Strong partnerships and flexible financing approaches have helped countries ramp up their vaccination programs while investing in health, education, and social protection to ensure a more resilient future. Read more

Europe and Central Asia: Vaccination, jobs, and social assistance are all key to reducing poverty in Central Asia. As the pace of economic recovery picks up, countries have an opportunity to return to pre-pandemic levels of poverty reduction – if they put in place the right policies. Read more

Two women stand outside the Luis Negreiros Hospital, in Callao, Lima, Peru
Latin America and the Caribbean: Costa Rica's vaccination plan, one of the region's most successful, is now focusing on increasing coverage among children aged 5-11 years old, and administering third and fourth doses to boost immunity among the eligible population. Read more

Middle East and North Africa: Support for COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Yemen is also strengthening the Yemeni health system’s capacity to respond to the pandemic. Read more


 South Asia: World Bank-financed Moderna vaccines have arrived in Nepal to be administered to protect children and youth from COVID-19, through immunization sites set up in schools, as well as sites to reach out-of-school adolescent populations. Read more


More COVID-19 results stories

More COVID-19 feature stories


Background and Approach

The World Bank had swiftly mobilized vaccine financing with the aim to aid affordable and equitable vaccine acquisition and deployment, and to indicate to potential suppliers that Bank financing was accessible to its clients. Such a commitment offered an incentive for vaccine manufacturers to provide for developing economies at affordable prices. All eligible Bank client countries (IBRD/IDA) had the opportunity to access the vaccine financing within their existing lending envelopes for IDA countries and exposure limits for IBRD. The World Bank Group worked in global solidarity with COVAX, WHO, UNICEF and other partners at global and country levels to aid IDA and IBRD countries. This financing could be utilized by countries to make payments to COVAX, which included the purchase of additional doses beyond the COVAX-provided 20% as countries aimed for higher coverage levels.

IFC’s $4 billion Global Health Platform had supported private companies in providing health products and services – including vaccines to developing countries. This included investments in vaccine manufacturers to foster increased production of COVID-19 vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, with production allocated for emerging markets. There was also an ability to invest in production to address other potential bottlenecks, including vials, needles and syringes, and cold storage capacity. Support was provided for mapping COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity.

The approach drew on the World Bank Group's expertise in supporting large scale immunization programs for vaccine preventable diseases, as well as public health programs to combat infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases.

Assessing Readiness:

The Bank had collaborated with partners to evaluate the preparedness of countries’ health systems for vaccine deployment and to identify gaps and potential areas for investment. This enabled the Bank to support the priority needs of each country. These assessments encompassed an analysis of policy and regulatory capacities, data and tracking systems, health infrastructure, including cold chains and training of health workers.. Assessments had been already done in more than 140 countries.

Vaccine eligibility:  

As the criteria for eligibility for IBRD/IDA resources in vaccine procurement, the Bank had accepted either (i) regular or emergency licensure or authorization from at least one of the SRAs identified by WHO for vaccines procured and/or supplied under the COVAX Facility, as could be amended from time to time by WHO; or (ii) WHO Prequalification (PQ) or WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL)..

Vaccine purchase: 

  • Collective purchase mechanisms, such as participating in COVAX.
  • Direct purchases by countries from vaccine manufacturers.
  • Purchase of excess stocks from other countries that reserve excess doses.

Vaccine distribution:

To assist countries in preparing for vaccine deployment and fortifying their health systems, Bank financing was used to formulate policies for safe and effective deployment, increase storage and develop cold chains, establish data and tracking systems, train health workers, and cultivate trust in immunizations through citizen and community engagement.