• Saturday, Sep 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:39 am

Unicef: $1bn more needed for Covax vaccine rollout

  • Published at 10:28 pm March 10th, 2021
Covax
Unicef staff place stickers on boxes of Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine during the handover ceremony of the first allocation of Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine from the Covax facility, at Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2, 2021 AFP

The Covax initiative aims to deliver at least 2 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses this year, including 1.3 billion doses to lower income countries

The United Nations’ children’s fund on Wednesday urged countries to contribute more money to help poor countries access coronavirus vaccines, saying around $1 billion was needed in this cause.

Unicef, the world’s single largest vaccine buyer, is part of the World Health Organization-backed Covax program to supply Covid-19 shots to emerging economies.

“We have been asking the world for more funding ... for Unicef and our distribution to countries we still need about $1 billion,” Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore said at Dubai’s World Government Summit, held virtually this year.

That funding could be used to strengthen health systems in poorer nations and support the distribution of vaccines there, she said in this regard.

The Covax initiative aims to deliver at least 2 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses this year, including 1.3 billion doses to lower-income countries.

Fore urged vaccine makers to sign licensing agreements so vaccines could be made locally, singling out Africa as one market that needed it.

She also said it was unlikely the Covax scheme would be able to cover the world this year.

“There is still more to do and we could do with more help and assistance,” she added.

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