COVAX doubles global vaccine supplies as new COVID-19 variant surges
COVAX, the World Health Organization's vaccine alliance, says it is doubling the supply of COVID-19 treatments it will make available in 2021. Around 2 billion doses will be due for delivery in spring.
The body, which has a facility in Geneva Switzerland, is the result of global collaboration and now has more than two-thirds of the world engaged with promoting equal access to coronavirus vaccines.
Aurelia Nguyen, the managing director of the COVAX facility, told CGTN Europe it had made the move due to an "unprecedented situation," as the world faces a new, more contagious variant of the COVID-19 virus.
One of the key concerns over the global roll-out of vaccines has been access for poorer countries. COVAX was set up in April by Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, the partner organization of the WHO tasked with increasing access to immunization in the less-developed world. It aims to provide fair access to both diagnostics and treatments for all nations.
So far, 189 economies will be eligible for supplies to protect vulnerable groups in the first half of 2021, with access dependent on regulatory approvals and the readiness of countries for delivery.
Nguyen explained how the vast challenge of vaccine roll-out is being managed and what lessons have been learnt over the past year to pandemic response generally.