COVID-19

UNICEF will ship 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines to developing nations in 2021

COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine fairer access developing nations

UNICEF will work with over 350 airlines and freight companies. Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Lin Taylor
Journalist, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on COVID-19?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how COVID-19 is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

COVID-19

  • UNICEF is planning to ship nearly 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries in 2021.
  • It is working with over 350 airlines and freight companies to deliver vaccines and 1 billion syringes to countries such as Burundi, Afghanistan and Yemen.
  • At a G20 summit, leaders of the world's biggest economies pledged to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Nearly 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be shipped and flown to developing countries next year in a "mammoth operation", the U.N. children's agency UNICEF said, as world leaders vowed to ensure the fair distribution of vaccines.

UNICEF said it was working with over 350 airlines and freight companies to deliver vaccines and 1 billion syringes to poor countries such as Burundi, Afghanistan and Yemen as part of COVAX, a global COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan with the World Health Organization (WHO).

"This invaluable collaboration will go a long way to ensure that enough transport capacity is in place for this historic and mammoth operation," said Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF's Supply Division, in a statement.

Have you read?

COVAX - co-led by GAVI vaccine group, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations - aims to discourage governments from hoarding COVID-19 vaccines and to focus on first vaccinating the most at risk in every country.

At a G20 summit this weekend, leaders of the biggest 20 world economies pledged to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests so that poorer countries are not left out.

Even before the pandemic hit, access to vaccines was unequal with around 20 million babies not receiving vaccines that could save them from serious diseases, death, disability and ill health, according to the WHO.

"We need all hands on deck as we get ready to deliver COVID-19 vaccine doses, syringes and more personal protective equipment to protect frontline workers around the globe," said UNICEF'S Kadilli, who is working with the Pan American Health Organization and the International Air Transport Association.

UNICEF's role with COVAX stems from its status as the largest single vaccine buyer in the world.

It said it procures more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunisation and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries.

Drugmakers and research centres worldwide are racing to develop COVID-19 vaccines, with large global trials of several of the candidates involving tens of thousands of participants well underway.

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech could secure emergency U.S. and European authorisation for their COVID-19 vaccine next month after final trial results showed a 95% success rate and no serious side effects.

Moderna Inc last week released preliminary data for its vaccine showing 94.5% effectiveness.

The better-than-expected results from the two vaccines, both developed with new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, have raised hopes for an end to a pandemic that has killed more than 1.3 million people and wreaked havoc upon economies and daily life.

Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Winding down COVAX – lessons learnt from delivering 2 billion COVID-19 vaccinations to lower-income countries

Charlotte Edmond

January 8, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum