The global vaccine alliance Gavi said on Thursday it had agreed to fund and create a $178 million stockpile of Ebola vaccines for emergency use in outbreaks.
The aim is for a global stock of 500,000 doses of vaccine against the deadly haemorrhagic fever, Gavi said in a statement.
The stockpiling will start with Merck’s newly developed Ervebo vaccine, which won regulatory approval last month.
The plan is for poor and middle-income countries to be able to access the stockpile free of charge, Gavi said, while other countries will need to refund the cost of any vaccines used.
Gavi is a public-private partnership backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, Unicef and others, which arranges bulk buys to reduce vaccine costs for poor countries.