The World Health Organization (WHO) and global vaccine charities launched the COVAX program last April to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to some of the world’s poorest people.
The scheme, relied on by dozens of poorer countries, has faced setbacks: production problems, a lack of support from rich countries and a recent move by India, the largest vaccine maker, to limit its exports.
In addition to the WHO, it is led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Coalition for Innovation in Preparedness for Epidemics (CEPI) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Here’s a look at the progress since its inception:
APRIL 24, 2020:
The WHO, the European Commission and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are launching an initiative known as the ACT (Access to COVID-19 Tools) Accelerator. COVAX is the part that focuses on vaccines.
JUNE 4, 2020:
COVAX is raising $ 567 million from international donors against an initial target of $ 2 billion.
JULY 15, 2020:
More than 75 countries are showing interest in joining the scheme.
JULY 31, 2020:
The WHO is urging states to support COVAX, saying countries that have a better chance of getting a successful COVID-19 vaccine.
AUG. 18, 2020:
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warns that countries that put their own interests ahead of others to secure supplies of a possible vaccine are exacerbating the pandemic.
AUG. 24, 2020:
Approximately 172 countries join COVAX. The WHO says more funds are urgently needed and that states should commit.
AUG. 28, 2020:
Wealthier countries are being offered a new option under COVAX to choose which footage to receive, in a move aimed at persuading governments that have bilateral agreements to apply for the facility.
SEPT. 4, 2020:
The WHO says 78 high-income countries are confirming participation before the September 18 application deadline.
SEPT. 17, 2020:
The WHO says more than 170 countries have joined COVAX. EU countries offer funds, but refuse to buy vaccines through COVAX for themselves.
The United States and Russia do not join.
OCT. 8, 2020:
China says it will buy COVAX vaccines for 1% of its population.
OCT. 19, 2020:
The WHO says 184 countries have applied for COVAX.
NOV. 12, 2020:
The EU increases its contribution to COVAX to 500m euros. ($ 601 million).
NOV. 13, 2020:
GAVI is raising $ 2 billion to purchase COVID-19 footage for COVAX.
NOV. 22, 2020:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is urging COVAX to start talks with vaccine manufacturers immediately.
DEC. 4, 2020:
The WHO hopes that COVAX will have half a billion doses of vaccine available for distribution in the first quarter of 2021.
DEC. 15, 2020:
The European Union is considering a plan to donate 5% of the COVID-19 vaccine it has provided to poorer countries. read more
DEC. 18, 2020:
COVAX doubles its global vaccine supply to 2 billion doses and aims to deliver 1.3 billion doses in 2021 to 92 eligible low- and middle-income economies.
JAN. 7, 2021:
The WHO says poorer nations could start receiving vaccines from COVAX as early as January, after the program raises $ 6 billion of the $ 7 billion it asked for in 2021 to help fund deliveries.
JAN. 8, 2021:
The WHO Tedros urges states to stop concluding bilateral agreements with manufacturers and immediately release additional doses to COVAX, as the EU agrees to procure hundreds of millions of doses of Pfizer (PFE.N) -BioNTech.
The United States, Britain and Canada have also reserved large quantities of vaccines.
JAN. 18, 2021:
WHO chief Tedros says vaccine nationalism puts the world on the brink of “catastrophic moral failure” and could delay COVAX deliveries.
The WHO says it is in talks with Pfizer about including his vaccine in COVAX.
JAN. 19, 2021:
The European Union is considering its own plan to share surplus vaccines with poorer neighboring countries and Africa before COVAX becomes fully operational.
JAN. 20, 2021:
Chinese vaccine manufacturers – Sinovac Biotech (SVA.O), China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and CanSino Biologics (6185.HK) – are applying to join COVAX.
JAN. 21, 2021:
U.S. infectious disease official Anthony Fauci says the United States intends to join COVAX.
Pfizer and BioNTech have agreed to deliver 40 million doses of their vaccine to COVAX. read more
JAN. 29, 2021:
The WHO says COVAX will deliver enough shots to 3% of the population of poor countries in the first half of 2021. Read more
FEB. 3, 2021:
China says it will provide COVAX with 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. read more
The Indian Serum Institute has signed a new long-term contract to supply 1.1 billion doses of vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Novavax (NVAX.O) to COVAX.
FEB. 5, 2021:
The WHO says the COVAX initiative wants to launch the delivery of nearly 90 million doses of COVID-19 to Africa in February. read more
FEB. 15, 2021:
The WHO has approved the AstraZeneca / Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. South Korea is lowering initial vaccination targets due to delayed deliveries of COVAX. read more
FEB. 18, 2021:
The United States is announcing $ 4 billion in funding for COVAX, of which $ 2.5 billion this year.
FEB. 19, 2021:
The EU is doubling its contribution to COVAX with an additional 500m euros.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) is applying to the WHO for an urgent list of vaccines against COVID-19, which is a prerequisite for the supply of COVAX vaccines. read more
FEB. 22, 2021:
The WHO agrees with a no-fault compensation plan for claims of serious side effects in people in 92 poorer countries who receive vaccines through COVAX.
FEB. 24 and 26 2021:
The first doses of COVID-19 vaccine via COVAX arrive in Ghana and Ivory Coast.
FEB. 26, 2021:
The WHO says countries seeking their own doses of the vaccine are threatening COVAX stockpiles.
MARCH 2, 2021:
Nigeria and Cambodia receive the first COVID-19 vaccines under COVAX.
The WHO says COVAX is expected to deliver 237 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to 142 countries by the end of May.
MARCH 5, 2021:
Moldova is the first European country to receive COVID-19 vaccines under COVAX. read more
WHO Tedros says COVAX has shipped more than 20 million doses in 20 countries.
MARCH. 12, 2021:
WHO approves J&J’s COVID-19 emergency vaccine.
MARCH 24, 2021:
India is temporarily suspending exports of AstraZeneca produced by the Serum Institute in India to meet domestic demand.[nL1N2LM3IG] read more
The serum was scheduled to deliver 90 million doses of the vaccine to COVAX in March and April.
APRIL 1, 2021:
Tedros of the WHO says the plant faces a “serious challenge” to meet demand, asking manufacturers to help countries that are boosting can donate those doses quickly.
APRIL 8, 2021:
The WHO says COVAX has delivered nearly 38.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 102 countries and economies on six continents. read more The facility wants to provide at least 2 billion doses this year.
APRIL 15, 2021:
United Nations officials are urging another $ 2 billion by June for COVAX.
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