The first delivery of rescue stings arrived in Ghana on February 24.
Announcing the news on Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that more than 38 million doses of injections manufactured by AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Serum Institute in India have been shipped to date, one of the vaccines against AstraZeneca known as COVISHIELD ). .
AstraZenica killings ‘save millions’
The development occurred when the WHO and other health regulators confirmed the enormous value of the AstraZeneca (or AZ) COVID-19 vaccine, amid continuing concerns about clotting events in a very small number of those who had a sting.
The WHO has listed two versions of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, after careful consideration over four weeks of analysis, for emergency use on February 15, which will be introduced globally through COVAX.
In statements Wednesday night, the WHO World Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety, the European Medicines Agency and the UK regulator concluded that the benefits of taking the AZ vaccine “outweigh the very rare potential risks”.
190 million doses
To date, more than 190 million doses of AstraZenec have been administered, but only 182 cases of clotting have been reported, the WHO said in its advice to countries to continue vaccination with the AZ vaccine, noting that it “saved millions of lives and prevented serious illness.”
Despite reduced supply availability in March and April – as a result of optimizing their production processes in the early stages of deployment, as well as increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines in India – COVAX “expects to deliver doses to all participating economies. requested vaccines in the first half of the year, “the WHO said in a press release.
“COVAX has given the world the best way to ensure the fastest, fairest introduction of safe and effective vaccines for all at-risk people in all countries on the planet,” said WHO Chief of Staff Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“If we are to realize this great opportunity, states, manufacturers and the international system must come together to prioritize the vaccine through COVAX. Our collective future literally depends on it. “
‘It’s time to speed up’
Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, said that, despite everything that has been achieved in just a month and a half, “it is not the time to celebrate; it’s time to speed up.
“With variants appearing around the world, we need to accelerate global representation. To do this, we need governments, along with other partners, to take the necessary steps to increase supply, including by simplifying barriers to intellectual property rights, removing direct and indirect measures restricting COVID-19 vaccine exports, and donating excess doses of vaccines such as as soon as possible. “
“It is extremely gratifying that the introduction of COVAX doses has already reached a hundred countries,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, Vaccine Association.
‘A terrifying challenge’
“COVAX may be on track to deliver to all participating economies in the first half of the year, but we still face a daunting challenge as we strive to end the acute phase of the pandemic: we will only be safe when everyone is safe and our efforts to rapidly accelerate dosing depend on continued support from governments and vaccine manufacturers. “
According to the latest supply forecast, COVAX expects to deliver at least 2 billion doses of vaccine by 2021, which means it will have to add new vaccines to its portfolio. New contracts with manufacturers are announced “in the foreseeable future”, according to the WHO and partners.
It was announced last month that the United States will host a launch – to be held next week – for what is called the Gavi COVAX AMC Investment Opportunity, citing the COVAX Advance Market commitment, which aims to ensure that the world’s poorest countries gain access life-saving vaccines.
An additional $ 2 billion is needed in 2021 to fund and provide up to a total of 1.8 billion donor-funded doses. The COVAX partnership also works to provide additional vaccine sources in the form of dose-sharing from higher-income countries.