COVID-19: COVAX reaches 145 countries, territories with 1.5bn doses



By Abujah Racheal

COVAX, co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, says it has delivered over 1.5 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 145 countries and territories.

Announcing this on her verified Twitter handle, Ms Aurélia Nguyen, Managing Director, Office of the COVAX Facility, on Saturday, said amidst supply shortages, export bans, intense competition for vaccines and logistical challenges in many countries, COVAX had shipped 1.5 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Nguyen said that this is significant progress in the race of Global Vaccine Gap.

“We are proud of this milestone but many in the world’s poorest countries remain unvaccinated and the pandemic is far from over.

“We must double down on efforts to increase demand, especially in high-risk populations, and urge countries to set ambitious targets with concrete plans,” she said.

Nguyen said for the first time in the two years of the pandemic, COVAX had reliable supply from manufacturers  and dose donations which meant that countries could plan ahead to deliver national vaccination plans.

She said that COVAX and partners are ready to help governments boost demand and absorptive capacity.

“We are proud to have worked with our partners to support lower-income countries’ historic achievements, reaching billions with COVID-19 vaccines, but global vaccination rates are now falling. We must overcome the challenge of turning vaccines into vaccinations.

“By helping countries set ambitious targets, providing resources to scale-up delivery systems and increase uptake, and making sure countries get the right vaccines, in the right volumes, at the right time, COVAX will continue working to close the vaccine equity gap,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that COVAX, is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF as well as the World Bank, civil society organisations, manufacturers, and others.

Over a year ago, the first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine began to arrive in countries across the world through the COVAX initiative, as part of the largest global vaccination drive in history. (NAN)