UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore while announcing the development was quoted as saying that the programme will see collaboration among governments, drug manufacturers, along with a host of multilateral partners to give a concerted fight to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Amidst the race amongst individual nations to get hold of a Covid-19 vaccine, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will undertake the responsibility of procuring and supplying an effective vaccine to about 92 low and middle-income countries of the world under the Covax Global Vaccines Facility, PTI reported. The development comes in view of the possibility of poor and less developed nations getting deprived of the vaccine due to the hoarding of all initial doses of the vaccine by rich countries. The effort to procure and supply vaccine will be led jointly by UNICEF in collaboration with the Revolving Fund of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore while announcing the development was quoted as saying that the programme will see collaboration among governments, drug manufacturers, along with a host of multilateral partners to give a concerted fight to the Coronavirus pandemic. She also said that UNICEF will leverage its unique strengths in vaccine supply to ensure that all parts of the world have safe, fast, and equitable access to the Covid-19 vaccine.
The UN organisation, which annually procures and supplies about 2 billion vaccines for different diseases around the world, will also be supported by a host of international and multilateral organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), among others. About 28 drug manufacturers who have been contacted by UNICEF have also shared their annual production plans for Covid-19 vaccine. UNICEF will also coordinate the procurement of the Coronavirus vaccine by about 80 higher income countries who have evinced interest to participate in the Covax facility by financing vaccines for low-income countries by their own budgets.
The organisations such as UNICEF and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation came into action after rich countries led by the US, the UK and other European countries secured deals with large pharma companies to buy initial batches of the Coronavirus vaccine in lieu of financing the production, trials and supply of the vaccines.