COVID-19 Vaccines sent to Ghana mark Start of Global Spread
COVID-19 Vaccines sent to Ghana mark Start of Global Spread

COVID-19 Vaccines sent to Ghana mark Start of Global Spread

  • COVAX announced that 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine, licensed to the Serum Institute of India, have arrived in Accra, Ghana; More deliveries expected to Abidjan, Ivory Coast this week.
  • Final first round allocations for doses of AstraZeneca / Oxford and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to most of the countries and economies participating in the COVAX Facility are expected to be released in the coming days.
  • The start of the global launch means that vaccines will be continuously delivered to facility participants as preparation criteria are met and doses are produced.

Ghana becomes the first country outside of India to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses shipped through the COVAX Facility. This is a historic step towards our goal of ensuring the equal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally, which will be the largest vaccine supply and supply operation in history. The delivery is part of the first arrival wave that will continue over the coming days and weeks.

On 23 February COVAX arrived on the morning of 24 February in Accra, Ghana, from Pune, India with 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII). The arrival in Accra is the first batch shipped and delivered in Africa by the COVAX Facility as part of an effort to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021.

COVAX is led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Outbreak Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and works in partnership with UNICEF, as well as the World Bank, non-governmental organizations, manufacturers and others.

“COVAX’s mission is to help end the acute phase of the pandemic as quickly as possible by providing equal access to COVID-19 vaccines globally. Today’s delivery brings us one step closer to that goal and something the whole world can be proud of. In the coming weeks, COVAX is the most at risk. send vaccines to all participating economies to ensure that those below are protected wherever they live.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “We will not end the epidemic anywhere unless we end it everywhere.” “Today is a great first step towards realizing our shared vision of vaccine equity, but this is only the beginning. We have a lot of work to do with governments and manufacturers to ensure that healthcare workers and seniors are vaccinated in all countries within the first 100 days of this year.”

CEPI CEO Dr. Richard Hatchett said: “This is a turning point in our efforts to bring the life-saving vaccine to the world. The fact that we now have a large number of safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 developed in record time is evidence for the scientific community and industry tackling the challenge of this pandemic. With this shipment, we also see that, through COVAX, the global community is responding to the challenge of getting these vaccines to those who need them most. Let’s celebrate this as a moment of global solidarity in the fight against the epidemic.

But still there is a lot to do. With the increasing spread of COVID-19 variants, we have entered a new and less predictable phase of the pandemic. Sharing the vaccines we have developed to reduce the prevalence of the disease, slow down the viral mutation and end the pandemic is an urgent issue globally. “

“It marks the historic moment we planned and worked hard. “With the first dose shipment, we can keep the COVAX Facility’s promise to ensure that people from less affluent countries are not left behind in the race to life-saving vaccines,” said Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF. In the coming days, frontline workers will start receiving vaccines, and the next phase in the fight against this disease could begin – the acceleration of the largest vaccination campaign in history. Every step in this journey takes us further towards recovery for billions of affected children and families from all over the world. “

The vaccines arrived on a flight from Mumbai via Dubai, and the flight also collected a shipment of syringes from a Gavi-funded stockpile at UNICEF’s regional Supply Center.

Over the past few months, COVAX partners have been supporting governments and partners in these major preparation efforts, especially for AMC eligible participants. This includes helping develop national vaccination plans, supporting cold chain infrastructure and stocking half a billion syringes and safety boxes for their disposal, masks, gloves and other equipment to ensure that there is enough equipment for healthcare professionals to use. Begin vaccinating priority groups as soon as possible.

For the doses to be delivered to Facility participants through this initial round of allocation, several critical items must be available, including confirmation of national regulatory authorization criteria for delivered vaccines, compensation agreements, national vaccination plans for AMC participants. Other logistical factors such as export and import licenses.

As the participants meet the above criteria and complete the preparatory preparations, COVAX will place purchase orders to the producer and ship and deliver doses in an iterative process. This means that deliveries for the first round of allocation will be on a rolling basis and in tranches.

Based on the intermediate distribution forecast published earlier this month, final information on the first round allocations covering most of the Facility participants is expected to be delivered in the coming days.

COVAX has built a diverse portfolio of vaccines suitable for a range of settings and populations and is on track to achieve its goal of providing at least 2 billion doses of vaccine to participating countries around the world by 2021, including at least 1.3 billion donors. Funded doses to 92 low-income Facility participants supported by Gavi COVAX AMC.

Quotes From Partners and Donors

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “Today I am very happy that we made the first delivery of COVAX Vaccines in Accra, Ghana. This is the moment when long days and nights finally show up on the ground with tangible results. I would like to respect the tireless efforts of our partners Gavi, WHO and UNICEF. Team Europe will continue to stand by the people of Africa ”.

“Working to ensure broad global coverage of Covid-19 vaccines is both the right thing to do and the way to end the pandemic,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. New Zealand acknowledges the extraordinary work of the GAVI, CEPI, WHO and COVAX Facility to get to this point ”.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said, “From the very beginning, Spain has been at the center of ACT Accelerator and other international initiatives to combat the virus, because only by taking steps can we succeed. Nobody will be safe until everyone is safe. “

Senator Marise Payne, Australian Secretary of State for Women, said: “In this pandemic, we know that no one is safe and to achieve that everyone needs access to safe and effective COVID 19 vaccines. With the first doses currently distributed, Australia is proud to support the COVAX Advance Market Commitment as it provides access to vaccines to protect the world’s most vulnerable. “

Meryame Kitir, Minister of Development Cooperation in Belgium, welcomed the first doses of vaccines delivered by the Covax Facility in Africa: “This is great news. Belgium supports COVAX AMC because it will allow a number of countries to access COVID-19 vaccines. Hopefully this is the start of a rapid rollout to reach the goal of delivering 2 billion doses this year to participating countries around the world. “

“Canada has supported the COVAX Facility from the beginning,” said Karina Gould, Government Minister of Canada for International Development and co-chair of Gavi COVAX AMC. It will bring countries together regardless of income levels to accelerate the development, production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Congratulations today as COVAX kick started delivering its first vaccines to Ghana. This brings us one step closer to covering all high-risk populations, including healthcare professionals, worldwide. This is truly a milestone for all of us. “

“France welcomes the first delivery of Covid-19 vaccine doses in Africa today in Ghana and on Friday in Côte d’Ivoire, thanks to the COVAX facility,” said Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France. This is the first concrete conclusion that confirms the central importance of ACT-A, the key international platform for equal and universal access to vaccines against Covid-19, which France helped launch in the spring of 2020 with the European Commission and WHO to coordinate. global response to the pandemic. We should continue this international solidarity effort by establishing dose-sharing mechanisms that can accelerate the distribution of vaccines in Africa, as the President suggested. “

Retno Marsudi, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs and co-chair of Gavi COVAX AMC, said: “I have been encouraged by the significant progress made by the COVAX Facility towards equal access to vaccines. This first arrival of vaccines shows that global solidarity and multilateralism are working. As one of the co-chairs of the AMC Group, this is it. I welcome the milestone success. I urge all countries to gain greater access and make sure no one will be left behind.

Alessandro Rivera, General Manager of the Treasury of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, said: “Italy is pleased to see that COVAX will begin the distribution of vaccines in AMC eligible Countries in the coming days. This is a landmark event as we successfully allow the poorest Countries to access safe and effective vaccines within months of their approval in High Income Countries. Italy has supported COVAX AMC since its inception in June 2020 and has committed over $ 100 million to date. Our aim is to continue investing in multilateralism, international cooperation and solidarity, and as the current G20 Presidency, we will ensure that these themes remain at the center of the global debate. “

Keiichi ONO, Ambassador of Japan’s Global Affairs, said: “We welcome the commencement of delivery of vaccines through the COVAX Facility as an important first step. Since the launch of the COVAX Facility last June, Japan has been contributing to the design of an unprecedented mechanism and funding AMC. Japan is committed to promoting equal access to safe, effective and quality guaranteed vaccines.

Norwegian Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein said: “While we would prefer the dissemination of COVID-19 vaccines to be carried out simultaneously in rich and poor countries, the delivery of COVAX vaccines to low and middle-income countries is an unprecedented success immediately after countries development.”

Khalifa Jassim Al Kuwari, Managing Director of Qatar Development Fund, said: “The State of Qatar has been a long-standing supporter of the Vaccine Alliance Gavi through the QFFD since 2015. creating a more prosperous world for the most vulnerable societies. The State of Qatar, through the QFFD, has been very proactive in supporting the international community to include the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic; recent funding of $ 10 million to COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), Qatar’s commitment to ensure vaccines are available for everyone and no one is left behind. “

Per Olsson Fridh, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, said: “Today is a day of hope in the fight against the devastating pandemic and a promising day for multilateral cooperation. Sweden remains firmly committed to equal global access to safe and effective vaccines. “

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The spread of vaccines to the world’s most vulnerable countries today is a huge step forward in ending this epidemic. The UK, one of the largest donors of COVAX, is delivering over one billion doses of vaccine to 92 countries so that no one is left behind in this global challenge. If we prevent the spread of the virus in developing countries of the world, we will only save lives and reduce the risk of future infection. “

Director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. John Nkengasong said: “These first deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines via COVAX are a critical moment in Africa’s fight against the virus. Thanks to this global collaboration, additional members of key groups such as the following Healthcare professionals and other vulnerable groups will be able to access COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks. This is an important step towards our goal of immunization with safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 to facilitate at least 60% of the African population. We continue to work towards the pressure on our health systems and economies and our continental development agenda.

Thomas Cueni, Managing Director of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), said: “For the first time in the history of the pandemic, you will present vaccines to LMICs in less than three months in a coordinated manner. The first Covid vaccine was approved by WHO. While raising production from zero to millions in a few months is a historic achievement, the transition to the final stage is an important milestone to be marked.

The manufacturers were among the founding partners of ACT-A and COVAX. Not only have we expanded production through an incredible number of collaborations, we have also fully played our part in meeting the common goal of fair and equal access to vaccines. However, there will be difficulties in manufacturing or delivery. We must work together to find a solution. We’ve gone this far in such a short time. It would be inefficient to point out that the manufacturers are not delivering and selecting them. “

About COVAX

COVAX, the vaccine pillar of access to the Access Accelerator for COVID-19 Tools (ACT), is jointly managed by CEPI, Gavi and WHO, working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, the World Bank and others. It is the only global initiative working with governments and manufacturers to make COVID-19 vaccines available worldwide in both high-income and low-income countries.

CEPI is a leader in the COVAX vaccine research and development portfolio and invests in R&D among a variety of promising candidates to support the development of three safe and effective vaccines that can be delivered to countries participating in the COVAX Facility. As part of this work, CEPI has acquired the right to potentially refuse more than a billion doses to several candidates for the COVAX Facility and has made strategic investments in vaccine production, including reserving capacity to produce dose-dose COVAX vaccines in a network. and fixing the glass vials to hold 2 billion doses of vaccine.

CEPI also invests in “next generation” vaccine candidates that will offer the world additional options to control COVID-19 in the future.

Gavi leads the supply and delivery for COVAX, coordinates the design and implementation of the COVAX Facility and COVAX AMC, and works with governments with Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO on preparation and delivery to the country. The COVAX Facility is the global collective supply mechanism for COVID-19 vaccines, where COVAX will provide fair and equal access to vaccines for all 190 participating economies using a WHO-formulated allocation framework.

The COVAX Facility will do this by pooling the purchasing power of participating economies and providing volume guarantees among a range of promising vaccine candidates. Gavi COVAX AMC is the funding mechanism that will support the participation of 92 low and middle-income countries in the Facility and provide access to safe and effective doses of vaccines funded by the donor. UNICEF and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) will act as procurement coordinators for the COVAX Facility and assist in delivering vaccines to all participants.

WHO plays multiple roles within COVAX: providing normative guidance on vaccine policy, regulation, safety, R&D, allocation, and country preparedness and delivery. The Strategic Vaccine Expert Group (SAGE) develops evidence-based vaccination policy recommendations.

Emergency Use List (EUL) / prequalification programs provide harmonized review and authorization among member states. Provides global coordination and member state support in monitoring vaccine safety. It develops target product profiles for COVID-19 vaccines and provides R&D technical coordination. Together with UNICEF, WHO is leading support for countries as they prepare for vaccination and administration. The Country Preparedness and Delivery (CRD) workflow includes Gavi and many other partners working globally, regionally and at the country level to provide tools, guidance, monitoring and field technical assistance for planning and dissemination of vaccines.

Together with COVAX partners, WHO is also developing an error-free compensation plan as part of its limited-term compensation and liability commitments.

UNICEF benefits from its experience as the largest single vaccine recipient in the world and works with manufacturers and partners in the supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as shipping, logistics and storage. UNICEF currently supplies more than 2 billion vaccine doses annually for routine vaccination and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries.

UNICEF, in collaboration with the PAHO Revolving Fund, is leading efforts to procure and supply doses of COVID-19 vaccines for COVAX. In addition, UNICEF, Gavi and WHO are working with governments around the clock to ensure countries are ready to receive vaccines with appropriate cold chain equipment in place and healthcare professionals trained to distribute them. UNICEF also plays a leading role in efforts to increase confidence in vaccines, establish vaccine trust communication, and monitor and address misinformation around the world.

About CEPI

CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic and non-governmental organizations launched in Davos in 2017 to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI acted with great urgency and coordination with WHO in response to the emergence of COVID-19. CEPI has launched ten partnerships to develop vaccines against the new coronavirus. The programs use new partnerships as well as rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI.

Prior to the emergence of COVID-19, CEPI’s primary diseases included Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever, and Chikungunya virus. CEPI has also invested in platform technologies that can be used for rapid vaccine and immunoprophylactic development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).

About the Vaccine Alliance Gavi

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is a public-private partnership that helps immunize half of the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped immunize an entire generation – more than 822 million children – and has helped halve child deaths in 73 low-income countries by preventing more than 14 million deaths.

Gavi also plays an important role in improving global health security by supporting health systems and also funding global stocks for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi focuses on protecting the next generation and reaching unvaccinated children still left behind, using innovative financing and cutting-edge technology (from drones to biometrics) to save millions more lives and prevent epidemics before they spread. and help countries on their way to self-sufficiency.

The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical institutions, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here.

About WHO

The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States in six regions and more than 150 offices to improve health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our 2019-2023 goal is to ensure that one billion more people have universal health insurance, protect one billion more people from health-related emergencies, and provide better health and well-being to more billion people.

For updates on COVID-19 and public health advice on protecting yourself from coronavirus, visit www.who.int

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s most difficult places to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. In 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for all. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org. For more information on COVID-19, visit www.unicef.org/coronavirus. Find out more about UNICEF’s work on COVID-19 vaccines here or more about UNICEF’s work on vaccination here.

About ACT-Accelerator

Access to COVID-19 Tools ACT-Accelerator; is a groundbreaking new global collaboration to accelerate fair access to development, manufacturing and COVID-19 testing, treatments and vaccines. It was founded in March in response to a call from G20 leaders and was launched in April 2020 by the WHO, the European Commission, France and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

ACT-Accelerator is not a decision-making body or a new organization, but works to accelerate collaborative efforts between existing organizations to end the pandemic. Accelerated development is a collaboration framework designed to bring key players to the table in order to end the pandemic as soon as possible through fair sharing and scaled delivery of tests, treatments and vaccines, thereby protecting health. restoring systems and, in the near term, societies and economies.

It draws on the experience of leading global health organizations that tackle the world’s toughest health challenges and can work together to unlock new and more ambitious results against COVID-19. Its members share a commitment to ensure all people have access to all the tools needed to defeat COVID-19 and to work with unprecedented levels of partnerships to achieve this.

ACT-Accelerator has four areas of work: diagnosis, treatment, vaccines, and healthcare system connector. The intersection of all of these is the workflow on Access and Allocation.