MedAccess

Improving access to life-saving vaccines

MedAccess is a social-finance company we set up in 2017 to help improve access to life-changing medical supplies at an affordable price. In 2021, the company played a critical role in accelerating access to healthcare in Africa.

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Protecting communities from COVID-19

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, global organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), created the COVAX initiative to advance the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to accelerate access for every country in the world.

In March 2021, Ghana became the first country to begin protecting its people with COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX. Alongside 600,000 vaccine doses, Ghana received a shipment of auto-disable syringes to enable health workers to begin administering the vaccines immediately. These syringes – recommended by the WHO because they reduce the risk of people contracting an infection due to reuse of contaminated needles – were purchased by UNICEF using support from MedAccess.

Enabling production of a life-saving malaria vaccine

In December 2021, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, approved the financing of the world’s first mass malaria immunisation programmes, using the ground-breaking RTS,S/AS01e vaccine. It is the first malaria vaccine to be proved safe and effective in a large Phase 3 clinical trial. Gavi agreed to finance the life-saving vaccine’s roll-out at scale for millions of children under the age of two in sub-Saharan Africa, protecting them at a time when they are most vulnerable to life-threatening illness from malaria.

A few months earlier, in August 2021, MedAccess agreed an innovative financing agreement to support continued production of the vaccine antigen, while the WHO and Gavi took  decisions on the vaccine’s deployment. By stepping in with a production guarantee to keep manufacturing lines rolling while decisions were being made, MedAccess has helped ensure millions more children will be vaccinated against malaria.

Find out more about the impact of businesses in our portfolio in our Annual Review 2021: Foundations for the future

We are now British International Investment