The World Bank has announced plans for a $12bn initiative that will allow poor countries to purchase Covid-19 vaccines to treat up to 2 billion people as soon as effective drugs become available. The Guardian reports that in an attempt to ensure that low-income countries are not frozen out by wealthy nations, the organisation is asking its key rich-nation shareholders to back a scheme that will disburse cash over the next 12 to 18 months. David Malpass, the World Bank president, said the initiative was needed because Covid-19 was having a much bigger impact on low and middle income countries than on the developed world.