Unicef to ship 2 billion Covid vaccines to poor nations in 2021

Protesters attend a demonstration against the government's Covid-19 restrictions in Berlin, Germany, on November 22 2020.
Protesters attend a demonstration against the government's Covid-19 restrictions in Berlin, Germany, on November 22 2020.
Image: REUTERS/ HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

Nearly 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be shipped and flown to developing countries next year in a “mammoth operation”, the UN children's agency Unicef said on Monday, as world leaders vowed to ensure the fair distribution of vaccines.

Unicef said it was working with over 350 airlines and freight companies to deliver vaccines and 1 billion syringes to poor countries such as Burundi, Afghanistan and Yemen as part of COVAX, a global Covid-19 vaccine allocation plan with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“This invaluable collaboration will go a long way to ensure that enough transport capacity is in place for this historic and mammoth operation,” said Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF's Supply Division, in a statement.

COVAX - co-led by GAVI vaccine group, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations - aims to discourage governments from hoarding Covid-19 vaccines and to focus on first vaccinating the most at risk in every country.

REUTERS


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