COVAX has delivered 1.5billion COVID-19 vaccines to 145 countries in 15 months.
The milestone was achieved with the shipment of 2.26 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Tanzania.
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COVAX, co-led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is the only global initiative working with government and manufacturers to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both high-income and lower-income countries.
It is the major supplier of COVID-19 vaccines in low-income countries and humanitarian settings.
A statement released yesterday noted that nearly 90 per cent of these have been fully funded doses delivered to lower-income countries, supported by the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
Despite the success, the chief executive officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which manages the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) and leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX, Dr Seth Berkley, called on countries to set ambitious targets backed by concrete plans for implementation and on all partners to provide countries with the resources needed to accelerate and expand national strategies.
Dr Berkley said COVAX remained committed to working with partners to ensure lower-income countries access both vaccines and the support needed to turn these vaccines into vaccinations.
He said that as the largest and most complex global vaccination effort in history, COVAX’s work had helped raise the proportion of people in 92 lower-income countries protected by a full course of vaccines to a 46 per cent on average.