WHO Initiated Scheme Covax Delivers the Very First Vaccines



Image Credit – BBC


Ghana becomes the first-ever country in the world to have received coronavirus vaccines through the Covax vaccine-sharing Initiative.

WHO or World Health Organization program aims at ensuring all vaccines are shared fairly and equally among the nations of the world. Covax is aiming to deliver about two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines globally by the end of the year.

First-world or rich nations that began their series of vaccination several months ago are also facing criticism regarding buying or ordering vaccines in volumes, much more than the adequate amount.

A total of 600,000 doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University arrived in Ghana’s capital Accra on Wednesday. WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF issued a joint statement that said that is a momentous occasion. They also added that the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines into Ghana stands critical in bringing the pandemic to an end.

Ghana recorded more than 80,700 cases of coronavirus-affected individuals and 580 deaths since the pandemic began back in March 2020. These numbers are believed to fall short of the actual toll because of low levels of testing and official entry.

UNICEF and WHO said that the shipment represents a part of the first wave of COVID vaccines that are headed to several low and middle-income countries around the world.

The vaccine however is not specifically made for children. UNICEF is involved in the scheme because of its expertise in procurement and the logistics of vaccine delivery.

So far, richer countries have been able to buy far more COVID jabs than poorer ones. The scheme was set up by World Health Organization. The Gavi vaccines alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) try to prevent poorer countries from being pushed to the back of the queue.

The program is formulated so that richer countries that buy vaccines agree to financially help poorer nations to avail themselves the same.

The program aims to deliver over two billion doses to people in 190 countries within the span of one year. The program also aims to ensure that about 92 poor countries will receive access to vaccines all at the same time as the other 98 richer countries. It aims to reach up to 20% of the populations of poorer countries, at no cost to their governments. Many African countries are intended recipients of Covax but there countries like Senegal that have been making provisions for vaccines outside of the said initiative.

The scheme has so far raised $6bn (£4.3bn) but says it needs at least another $2bn to meet its target for 2021.

The vaccine has also faced several criticisms for not delivering the said pace. The joint statement on Wednesday said the shipment to Ghana represented “the beginning of what should be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history”.

With new medical inventions, the world might expect a change but political and private interests speak otherwise.