The COVAX vaccine sharing program announced on Tuesday that it will distribute 237 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to 142 countries by the end of May, as it accelerates the global deployment of its supplies in vaccines.
The schedule for dose delivery, set by AstraZeneca and India’s Serum Institute, will be split into separate two-month schedules, COVAX said in a statement, the first in February-March and the second in April-May. .
“These times are dependent on various factors, including national regulatory requirements, availability of supply and meeting other criteria such as validated national deployment and vaccination plans,” the statement said.
COVAX is the program supported by the World Health Organization to provide vaccines to poor and middle-income countries. It began its deployment last week with the first deliveries of projectiles to Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
Hailing the campaign as an “unprecedented partnership,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Angola, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria could also expect deliveries of vaccines provided by COVAX on Tuesday.
“This is an unprecedented partnership that will not only change the course of the pandemic, but also change the way the world responds to future health emergencies,” Tedros said at a joint press conference with the UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the GAVI Vaccine Alliance – which co-includes COVAX – and others.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo told the same briefing that his West African country, which this week launched its vaccination campaign with doses of COVAX, aimed to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of 2021.
COVAX added in a statement that in addition to the first round of AstraZeneca vaccine allocations, some 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine were also scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2021.