London – UNICEF will work with more than 350 airlines and cargo companies next year to deliver nearly 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries
Nearly 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be sent to developing countries in a “giant operation” next year, the UN children’s agency UNICEF said on Monday, while world leaders promised to ensure fair distribution of vaccines.
UNICEF said it was working with more than 350 airlines and cargo companies to deliver vaccines and 1 billion syringes to poor countries such as Burundi, Afghanistan and Yemen as part of COVAX, a global plan to award COVID vaccines. 19 with the World Health Organization (WHO). .
“This invaluable cooperation will go a long way in ensuring that sufficient transport capacity is in place for this historic and gigantic operation,” said Etleva Kadilli, Director of UNICEF’s Divisional Stocks, in a statement.
COVAX – led by the GAVI vaccine group, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations – aims to discourage governments from stockpiling COVID-19 vaccines and to focus on vaccinating the risks in each country first. .
At a G20 summit this weekend, leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies pledged to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests, so that poorer countries are not left out.
Even before the pandemic, access to vaccines was unequal, according to the WHO, about 20 million babies did not receive vaccines that could save them from serious illness, death, disability and ill health.
“We need all hands on deck when we are ready to deliver COVID-19 vaccine doses, syringes and more personal protective equipment to protect frontline workers around the world,” said UNICEF’s Kadilli, who works with the Pan American Health Organization and the International work. Air Transport Association.
UNICEF’s role with COVAX stems from its status as the largest single vaccine buyer in the world.
It is said to receive more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunization and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries.
Drug makers and research centers worldwide are rushing to develop COVID-19 vaccines, with large global trials of several candidates involving tens of thousands of participants.
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech can obtain U.S. and European emergency approval for their COVID-19 vaccine next month after the final test results showed a 95% success rate and no serious side effects.
Moderna Inc last week released preliminary data for its vaccine showing 94.5% efficacy.
The better-than-expected results of the two vaccines, both developed with the new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, have raised hopes for an end to a pandemic that has killed more than 1.3 million people and ruined the economy and daily life.