Sunday, 22 May, 2022
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Corona programme delivers 1bn doses to poorer countries

Corona programme delivers 1bn doses to poorer countries

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GENEVA: The Covax scheme aimed at equitable global access to Covid-19 vaccines hit a "key milestone" on Saturday when it delivered its one billionth dose, one of its key backers said.

The Covax facility was set up in 2020 by the World Health Organization, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to ensure that poorer countries can access the vaccines needed to battle the pandemic, reports AFP.

"Covax has delivered its first billionth dose of Covid-19 vaccines to 144 countries & territories across the world," Gavi chief executive Seth Berkley tweeted.

"It's a key milestone in the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history."

Berkley said that when the plane carrying the shipment with the one billionth dose had touched down in Kigali, Rwanda Saturday evening, "I felt proud but also humbled knowing how far we have to go to protect everyone and solve vaccine inequity".

Covax hit the one-billionth mark less than a year after delivering its first vaccine dose late last February -- to Ghana. All countries have been permitted to order doses through the mechanism, but lower-income countries have received the jabs free of charge.