COVAX delivers its 1 billionth COVID-19 vaccine dose

GENEVA, A global initiative to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the world has completed the delivery of its one billionth dose.

On 15th January 2021, a shipment of 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccines to Rwanda included the billionth dose supplied via COVAX, according to a press release issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday.

COVAX is co-led by Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi (The Vaccine Alliance) and WHO, alongside key delivery partner the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“Together with our partners, COVAX is leading the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history, with deliveries to 144 countries to date. But the work that has gone into this milestone is only a reminder of the work that remains,” said WHO.

The WHO press release revealed that as of 13th January 2022, out of 194 Member States, 36 WHO Member States have vaccinated less than 10 percent of their population, and 88 less than 40 percent.

COVAX’s ambition was compromised by hoarding/stockpiling in rich countries, catastrophic outbreaks leading to borders and supply being locked. And a lack of sharing of licences, technology and know-how by pharmaceutical companies meant manufacturing capacity went unused.

COVAX is working with governments, manufacturers and partners to ensure that when countries receive vaccines they can get them to people quickly.

“With updated vaccines in the pipeline, now is the moment for all citizens to demand that governments and pharmaceutical companies share health tools globally and bring an end to the death and destruction cycles of this pandemic, limit new variants and drive a global economic recovery,” WHO affirmed.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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