The ambitious COVAX initiative, created to ensure that the whole world has access to COVID-19 vaccines, has provided at least 330 million doses to poorer countries and will aim at these and many millions to deliver more in the first half of 2021, the leading agencies said on Wednesday

COVAX released a preliminary distribution plan and said the distribution would cover an average of 3.3% of the total population of 145 countries participating in the first round The allotment includes 240 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India , another 96 million doses of the same shot from AstraZeneca plus 12 million doses of the vaccine from American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech

“We will soon be able to deliver life-saving vaccines around the world A result that we know is critical to defeating this pandemic, “GAVI CEO Seth Berkley told reporters at a briefing, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP)

COVAX is jointly led by the GAVI Alliance Securing Vaccines for Poor Countries, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation and the United Nations Children’s Fund The initiative aims to secure enough vaccines for at least the most vulnerable 20% in the participating countries by the end of 2021

The distribution plan sees lower-income countries falling behind in the vaccine race – an issue COVAX is addressing, COVAX said the assignments and distributions would be subject to various reservations, including WHO emergency approval for the vaccines as well as readiness and Acceptance of the countries

Ann Lindstrand, WHO vaccination program coordinator, said priority was given to countries that had not yet started vaccination, while health worker deaths in January were also included for the 92 lower and lower economies participating in COVAX Funding is met by donations for low-middle income countries, while for richer countries, bulk purchases work like replacement insurance for their own vaccination programs

Lindstrand informed the briefing that the first doses of COVAX – the vaccines from AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech – should “hopefully” be dispensed by the end of February, beginning of March “

Countries are given doses in proportion to their population size, with the majority going to India (97) 2 million), Pakistan (172 million), Nigeria (16 million), Indonesia (137 million), Bangladesh (128 million), and Brazil (106 million)

The COVAX Allocation Plan says vaccines are still limited in availability even in the rich countries where most early doses were purchased. Last week the European Union announced export controls in response to news that AstraZeneca was due to production problems limited its early supply of the block

Berkley noted that the 96 million doses of COVAX allocated by AstraZeneca were less than the 153 million doses of COVAX originally closed during that period. He said this was “not due to our offering being rerouted” , but rather on delays in obtaining the necessary WHO emergency list

The Pfizer BioNTech cans, which require special ultra-cold storage, are intended for 18 countries until the end of March, with Colombia, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and Ukraine each with 117The other planned recipients are Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cape Verde, El Salvador, Georgia, Maldives, Moldova, Mongolia, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda and Tunisia, and Cape Verde and Rwanda are among the first African countries to receive the Pfizer shot, said Lindstrand

Several wealthy self-financing countries were on the list, including Canada (19 million) and New Zealand (250000) Tuvalu is 4800 received the lowest dose, followed by Nauru and Monaco with 7 each200 It will also deliver 35 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to 36 Caribbean and Latin American states from mid-February to late June

Berkley said last week that COVAX wanted to deliver a total of 2.3 billion doses by the end of the year, including 18 billion to lower-income countries at no cost to their governments. Henrietta Fore, executive director of UNICEF, told the briefing on Wednesday that COVAX did too a longer-term agreement with the Indian Serum Institute to supply 1.1 billion doses of the vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Novavax against COVAX.These shots would be delivered over several years at around $ 3 per dose for low and middle income countries, she said and added this was “a great value for COVAX” “

“UNICEF is proud to be part of today’s release of an indicative distribution plan (for) the Covax facility.It is a hopeful marker on the tortuous path of a pandemic that will not really be over until it is over for all of us is, “wrote Fore on Twitter

WHO is also putting teams across Syria on a vaccination program that may be rolled out as early as April in regime-held areas and areas outside state control, WHO representative in Damascus Akjemal Magtymova told the COVAX on Wednesday Program plans to immunize 5 million Syrians – 20% of the population in all parts of the country – even though the conflict is now in its eleventh year

“We are working with the Department of Health to prepare our vaccine deployment plan to make sure the program is going well,” said Magtymova The priority initially was to vaccinate high-risk health workers, social workers and the most vulnerable. Around a quarter of the population in Syria is displaced, many of them in camps

“I am very confident that it will start in April but it could be even longer depending on so many factors,” Magtymova told Reuters in a telephone interview from Damascus about the plan to introduce the vaccination program in Syria. “We have to juggling with so many strangers “

Like other countries waiting for vaccinations via COVAX, Syria can also receive supplies directly from companies. However, such bilateral agreements have not yet been announced

A total of 190 countries have joined COVAX, which was launched last April with the aim of ensuring fair access to vaccines during the pandemic.Countries that are not listed this time either have their right to opt out exercised, no vaccination applications submitted or no doses yet received

The US. under the new president Joe Biden recently said it would attend COVAX

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Source: https://www.dailysabah.com/world/covax-unveils-plan-for-global-distribution-of-337m-vaccines/news