The international COVAX facility has managed to deliver more than 38 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to more than 100 economies within 42 days of its first international delivery to Ghana on Feb. 24, 2021.
It is a positive start for a massive global undertaking meant to help people worldwide get the help they need more equitably. This successful showing came even despite some delays in planned deliveries over the last month. In fact, the organization noted that it is positioned to deliver doses to all participating economies in the first half of the year.
“COVAX may be on track to deliver to all participating economies in the first half of the year, yet we still face a daunting challenge as we seek to end the acute stage of the pandemic: we will only be safe when everybody is safe and our efforts to rapidly accelerate the volume of doses depend on the continued support of governments and vaccine manufacturers,” Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said. “As we continue with the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history, this is no time for complacency.”
COVAX is a joint effort of Gavi, the World Health Organization, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Of the countries supplied so far, 61 are from the 92 lower-income economies slated for vaccines funded through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment.
Currently, COVAX is on a trajectory to deliver at least 2 billion doses of vaccines this year. While the organization notes another $2 billion is needed this year to finance and secure up to a total of 1.8 billion donor-funded doses of vaccines, it will receive newfound help from the United States in this through hosting of the 2021 Gavi COVAX AMC Invest Opportunity. Other doses are being sought through dose-sharing from higher-income countries.
“COVAX has given the world the best way to ensure the fastest, most equitable rollout of safe and effective vaccines to all at-risk people in every country on the planet,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, said. “If we are going to realize this great opportunity, countries, producers, and the international system must come together to prioritize vaccine supply through COVAX. Our collective future, literally, depends on it.”
All vaccine doses distributed through COVAX have come from AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and the Serum Institute of India.