Despite delays that provided dogging, COVAX was able to deliver coronavirus vaccine doses to 100 different territories around the world as it supported the AstraZeneca jab.
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine accounts for almost the entire first wave of doses distributed through the facility, ensuring that the 92 poorest participating economies have access to jabs for free.
But the program has been hit by delays after New Delhi halted exports from the Serum Institute of India facility to deal with a violent second wave of COVID-19 infections.
SII is one of two sites producing AstraZeneca doses for COVAX. The other is in South Korea.
COVAX’s first wave aimed to distribute 238.2 million doses to 142 participating economies by 31 May.
Of these, 237 million are AstraZeneca doses and 1.2 million are Pfizer / BioNTech.
A number of nations have suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for younger populations after it was previously banned directly in several countries due to blood clots.
EU drug regulator said on Wednesday that blood clots should be listed as a rare side effect of AstraZeneca jab, and stressed that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks.
And the World Health Organization’s immunization experts said a causal link was “considered probable but not confirmed”, adding that reported incidents were “very rare”.
The risk balance remains “very much in favor of the vaccine,” the WHO told AFP.
COVAX is led by the WHO, the Gavi Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Emergency Preparedness Innovations.
Gavi said safety and efficiency were the “top priority for COVAX”.
The scheme follows the WHO’s guidelines on vaccine products, which “remain unchanged” for AstraZeneca jab, a spokeswoman for Gavi told AFP.
“The AstraZeneca vaccine remains an important public health tool against the COVID-19 pandemic and is effective in preventing serious cases, hospitalization and death.”
St. Lucia 100. land
The 100th landmark was reached with a delivery to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.
It came 42 days after the first shipment landed in Ghana on February 24, with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo publicly taking the first shot.
So far, nearly 38.4 million doses have been delivered to 102 territories, including 61 of the 92 poorest participating economies, for which funding is covered by donors.
“COVAX expects to deliver doses to all participating economies that have requested vaccines in the first half of the year,” Gavi insisted in a statement.
This comes “despite reduced supply availability in March and April” due to manufacturers’ adaptation of production processes plus “increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines in India”, it said.
Some of the largest countries in the world have so far received vaccines, including India, Indonesia, Brazil, Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Egypt, Vietnam, DR Congo and Iran.
The smallest that have taken deliveries are the Pacific islands of Tuvalu, Nauru and Tonga along with Dominica in the Caribbean and the European microstate Andorra.
Six G20 countries have received doses: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
Deliveries have also reached Yemen, which the United Nations says is in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and Afghanistan.
DKK 2 billion is required. Dollar in 2021
“We are still facing a daunting challenge as we try to end the acute phase of the pandemic,” said Gavi CEO Seth Berkley.
“As we continue with the largest and fastest global vaccine rollout in history, this is not the time for complacency.”
The scheme aims to distribute sufficient doses to vaccinate up to 27 percent of the population in the 92 poorest participating economies by the end of the year.
Another 2 billion $ Required in 2021 to fund and secure up to a total of $ 1.8 billion. Donor-funded vaccine doses to these areas.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned that while the milestone in St. Lucia “gives us hope, access to vaccines, medicines and tests must not become a geopolitical farmer”.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has regularly blown up rich countries for pig production of vaccine lots, while poor countries await their first doses.
Worldwide, more than 710 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in at least 195 territories around the world, according to an AFP figure.
But WHO Regional Director Matshidiso Moeti noted that only two percent of these doses had been administered on the African continent.
“More than a billion Africans remain on the brink of this historic march to end this pandemic,” she said.