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HomeGlobalCOVAX To Roll Out Two Billion Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccines In 2021...

COVAX To Roll Out Two Billion Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccines In 2021 Says WHO

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By Babajide Okeowo

COVAX, a global initiative, has revealed plans are in place to provide access to two billion doses of various COVID-19 vaccines in the first half of 2021.

This, the initiative said will aid rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level.

This was disclosed in the WHO report, where COVAX announced that the arrangement is on behalf of 190 participating economies in the first half of 2021, contingent upon regulatory approvals and countries’ readiness for delivery.

According to Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi-Okonjo Iweala, co-chair of the COVAX Coordination Meeting and Gavi Board Chair, the time to give COVAX all the support it needs to bring the pandemic to an end as swiftly as possible.

“Nine months ago, it was hard to imagine that we would have more than one promising vaccine candidate and be in a position to make them available to both high-income countries and lower-income countries simultaneously. The global community has rallied, and we now have a platform, COVAX, that will do this. It’s time to stop questioning it and give it the support it needs to bring the pandemic to an end as swiftly as possible” she said.

On his part, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed optimism that the arrival of vaccines is providing light at the end of the tunnel in the fight against COVID 19.

“The arrival of vaccines is giving all of us a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. But we will only truly end the pandemic if we end it everywhere at the same time, which means it’s essential to vaccinate some people in all countries, rather than all people in some countries. And we must remember that vaccines will complement, but not replace, the many other tools we have in our toolbox to stop transmission and save lives. We must continue to use all of them” he said.

According to Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance,

“Securing access to doses of a new vaccine for both higher-income and lower-income countries, at roughly the same time and during a pandemic, is a feat the world has never achieved before – let alone at such unprecedented speed and scale. COVAX has now built a platform that offers the world the prospect, for the first time, of being able to defeat the pandemic on a global basis, but the work is not done – it’s critical that both governments and industry continues to support our efforts to achieve this goal.”

Recall that at least 1.3 billion donor-funded doses will be made available to 92 economies eligible for the Gavi COVAX AMC, targeting up to 20% population coverage by the end of the year 2020.

Given these arrangements for 2 billion doses of vaccine candidates which are still under development, COVAX will continue developing its portfolio. This will be critical to achieving its goal of securing access to 2 billion doses of safe and effective vaccines, that are suitable for all participants’ contexts and available by the end of 2021.

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