ADDIS ABABA – COVAX has surpassed the milestone of 1.5 billion COVID-19 vaccines delivered around the world today, following a shipment of 2.26 million doses of the J&J vaccine to Tanzania.
COVAX, major supplier of COVID-19 vaccines, made its first international delivery to Ghana a little over 15 months ago.
It has now shipped a total of 1.5 billion COVID-19 vaccines to 145 countries across the world, said one of its co-leader, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi).
“This is a significant milestone for COVAX, set up as an unprecedented global collaboration during the worst public health emergency in a hundred years,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi.
“More importantly, we are proud to have contributed to the incredible achievements of lower-income countries, who have administered nearly 4 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines,” the CEO added.
COVAX says its work has helped raise the proportion of people in 92 lower-income countries protected by a full course of vaccines to 46% on average.
The figure, however, is way lower than the average in Africa where COVAX was criticized for being not transparent enough iemissions.
Only 16% of Africans are fully vaccinated against the virus, according to Africa CDC, AU’s specialized healthcare agency.
The continent has seen a 36% average increase of new COVID-19 cases over the past four weeks, said Ahmed Ogwell, acting director of Africa CDC yesterday, calling for an enhanced vaccination rollout to sustainably address low vaccination service against the pandemic
Apart from Gavi, COVAX is also co-led by CEPI, WHO and UNICEF – working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers.