The milestone comes 42 days after the first COVAX doses were shipped and delivered internationally to Ghana on 24 February 2021. COVAX has now delivered more than 38 million doses across six continents, supplied by three manufacturers, AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Serum Institute of India (SII). Of the over 100 economies reached, 61 are among the 92 lower income economies receiving vaccines funded through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
Despite reduced supply availability in March and April – the result of vaccine manufacturers scaling and optimising their production processes in the early phase of the rollout, as well as increased demand for Covid-19 vaccines in India – COVAX expects to deliver doses to all participating economies that have requested vaccines in the first half of the year.
COVAX on track to deliver to all economies
“In under four months since the very first mass vaccination outside a clinical setting anywhere in the world, it is tremendously gratifying that the roll-out of COVAX doses has already reached one hundred countries,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “COVAX may be on track to deliver to all participating economies in the first half of the year yet we still face a daunting challenge as we seek to end the acute stage of the pandemic: we will only be safe when everybody is safe and our efforts to rapidly accelerate the volume of doses depend on the continued support of governments and vaccine manufacturers. As we continue with the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history, this is no time for complacency.”
“COVAX has given the world the best way to ensure the fastest, most equitable rollout of safe and effective vaccines to all at-risk people in every country on the planet,” added Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “If we are going to realise this great opportunity, countries, producers and the international system must come together to prioritize vaccine supply through COVAX. Our collective future, literally, depends on it.”
Expecting to deliver at least two billion doses
According to its latest supply forecast, COVAX expects to deliver at least two billion doses of vaccines in 2021. In order to reach this goal, the COVAX Facility will continue to diversify its portfolio further, and will announce new agreements with vaccine manufacturers in due course.
Furthermore, in March it was announced that the US government will host the launch event for the 2021 Gavi COVAX AMC Invest Opportunity to catalyse further commitment and support for accelerated access to vaccines for AMC-supported economies. An additional US$2 billion is required in 2021 to finance and secure up to a total of 1.8 billion donor-funded doses of vaccines. COVAX is also working to secure additional sourcing of vaccines in the form of dose-sharing from higher income countries.