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Another 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine reach Pakistan through COVAX

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Five million of COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered in Islamabad by the COVAX facility’s global COVID-19 vaccine equity scheme so far.

ISLAMABAD, 17 July 2021 – Today 1,236,000 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines reached Islamabad through the COVAX Facility, bringing the total number of doses delivered by the global COVID-19 vaccine equity scheme in Pakistan to five million so far.

Since May, 2.4 million doses of AstraZeneca, 100,160 doses of Pfizer and 2.5 million doses of Moderna, the latter donated by the United States under the dose-sharing mechanism, have been delivered to Pakistan via COVAX.

“WHO applauds Pakistan’s globally recognized COVID-19 vaccination campaign. It is a remarkable achievement that COVID-19 vaccines are equitably made available to people even in the remotest areas of Pakistan. The vaccine roll-out has helped prevent COVID-19 infections, with its associated risk of hospitalization and death, and has reduced pressure on healthcare system, “said Dr. Palitha Mahipala, WHO Representative in Pakistan. “WHO will continue supporting the Government of Pakistan in setting up essential systems for swift and safe administration of vaccines. On behalf of COVAX Facility, I reiterate that we will support Government of Pakistan with COVID -19 vaccines for around 20% of the population.

The vaccines will support the Government of Pakistan’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive which started in February, one year after the first case was reported in the country. More than 4.5 million people have been fully vaccinated, and more than 18 million people partially vaccinated against the coronavirus COVID-19 so far. One million cases of COVID-19 have been reported and nearly 23,000 people have succumbed to the disease.

“This latest delivery comes at a critical time as the Government of Pakistan intensifies its vaccination campaign across the country. UNICEF is supporting global COVID-19 vaccination efforts through COVAX to maximize supply and access to safe, effective, and affordable vaccines,” said Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan. ”UNICEF will continue to support the Government in ensuring an efficient and effective management of all vaccination campaigns through procurement services of essential COVID-19, routine immunization and polio supplies; expansion of cold chain capacity to ensure safe storage of vaccines; and risk communication and community engagement to increase vaccine uptake and ensure adherence to COVID-19 safety measures.”

Strictly complying with COVID-19 safety measures remains crucial to curb the spread of virus. These include regularly washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use a sanitizer; wearing a mask; remaining at least six feet away from other people; avoiding crowded places; and staying home when having COVID-19 symptoms.

The COVAX Facility aims to help address the acute phase of the global pandemic by the end of 2021 by providing rapid, fair, and equitable access to approved vaccines to all participating countries, regardless of income level. It enables the protection of frontline health care and social workers, as well as other high-risk and vulnerable groups.

COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access) is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, together with UNICEF. It is funded thanks to generous support from partner governments, foundations, and private sector corporations. So far, it has delivered more than 90 million doses of different COVID-19 vaccines to 133 countries and territories around the world.

Photos can be downloaded here:

https://weshare.unicef.org/Folder/2AMZIFHBYAP5

For more information, please contact

UNICEF
Catherine Weibel, UNICEF Pakistan, cweibel@unicef.org, +92 300 500 2592
Abdul Sami Malik, UNICEF Pakistan, asmalik@unicef.org, +92 300 855 6654

WHO
Maryam Yunus, WHO Pakistan, yunusm@who.int, +92 300 8441744

**Notes to editors **

So far donors to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, European Union, Australia, Bhutan, Canada, Colombia, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Monaco, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Anonymous Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, KS Relief/Gamers Without Borders, Mastercard, Medline International, Nikkei Inc., Reed Hastings and Patty Quillin, Shell, Thistledown Foundation, TikTok, Transferwise, Soccer Aid.

The list of donor pledges to COVAX AMC is available here.

About COVAX

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led 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 that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.

CEPI is leading on the COVAX vaccine research and development portfolio, investing in R&D across a variety of promising candidates, with the goal to support development of three safe and effective vaccines which can be made available to countries participating in the COVAX Facility. As part of this work, CEPI has secured first right of refusal to potentially over one billion doses for the COVAX Facility to a number of candidates, and made strategic investments in vaccine manufacturing, which includes reserving capacity to manufacture doses of COVAX vaccines at a network of facilities, and securing glass vials to hold 2 billion doses of vaccine. CEPI is also investing in the ‘next generation’ of vaccine candidates, which will give the world additional options to control COVID-19 in the future.

Gavi leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX: designing and managing the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX AMC and working with its traditional Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery. As part of this role, Gavi hosts the Office of the COVAX Facility to coordinate the operation and governance of the mechanism as a whole, holds financial and legal relationships with 193 Facility participants, and manages the COVAX Facility deals portfolio: negotiating advance purchase agreements with manufacturers of promising vaccine candidates to secure doses on behalf of all COVAX Facility participants. Gavi also coordinates design, operationalisation and fundraising for the Gavi COVAX AMC, the mechanism that provides access to donor-funded doses of vaccine to 92 lower-income economies. As part of this work, Gavi provides funding and oversight for UNICEF procurement and delivery of vaccines to all AMC participants – operationalising the advance purchase agreements between Gavi and manufacturers – as well as support for partners’ and governments work on readiness and delivery. This includes tailored support to governments, UNICEF, WHO and other partners for cold chain equipment, technical assistance, syringes, vehicles, and other aspects of the vastly complex logistical operation for delivery. Gavi also co-designed, raises funds for and supports the operationalisation of the AMC’s no-fault compensation mechanism as well as the COVAX Humanitarian Buffer.

WHO has multiple roles within COVAX: It provides normative guidance on vaccine policy, regulation, safety, R&D, allocation, and country readiness and delivery. Its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization develops evidence-based immunization policy recommendations. Its Emergency Use Listing (EUL)/prequalification programmes ensure harmonized review and authorization across member states. It provides global coordination and member state support on vaccine safety monitoring. It developed the target product profiles for COVID-19 vaccines and provides R&D technical coordination. WHO leads, along with UNICEF, the support to countries as they prepare to receive and administer vaccines. The Country Readiness and Delivery (CRD) workstream includes Gavi and numerous other partners working at the global, regional, and country-level to provide tools, guidance, monitoring, and on the ground technical assistance for the planning and roll-out of the vaccines. Along with COVAX partners, WHO is also developing a no-fault compensation scheme as part of the time-limited indemnification and liability commitments.

UNICEF is leveraging its experience as the largest single vaccine buyer in the world and working with manufacturers and partners on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as freight, logistics and storage. UNICEF already procures more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunization and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries. In collaboration with the PAHO Revolving Fund, UNICEF 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 that countries are ready to receive the vaccines, with appropriate cold chain equipment in place and health workers trained to dispense them. UNICEF is also playing a lead role in efforts to foster trust in vaccines, delivering vaccine confidence communications and tracking and addressing misinformation around the world.