Covax assures COVID-19 Vaccines rollout will reach over 100 countries in weeks

*Covax-Gavi Alliance has said short supplies of COVID-19 Vaccines are still considered a limiting factor for the developing world and poorer countries, and assures vaccine shots should be rolled out to over 100 countries in the next couple of weeks

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The clamour for enhanced production and distribution of more COVID-19 vaccines for immunisation against the novel Coronavirus pandemic especially in the developing and poorer countries of the world has continued to gather momentum around the world in recent times.

ConsumerConnect gathered that Covax, the World Health Organisation’s vaccine initiative, has disclosed that the COVID-19 Vaccine shots should be rolled out to over 100 countries in the next couple of weeks.

This projection is considered a significant increase from 84 at present, with a shortage of supplies the limiting factor, agency report said.

Seth Berkley, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gavi Alliance, a public-private partnership that works to provide vaccines for developing countries, told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” from Geneva, in Switzerland, that “if we had more doses, we could make these available.”

Berkley, who is said Berkley, an epidemiologist, stated: “What we’re talking about now is ultimately getting access to the large manufacturing facilities.”

The Covax Chief said that once the United States (US) needs are met later this year, for example, those plants “really could be used to come online for the rest of the world.”

According to the global health body, countries such as the US, UK and Israel, and the developed world in general, have marched ahead with their vaccination programmes since the first shots were approved late 2020.

Nonetheless, on the other end of the scale, over 30 countries have yet to start, or have barely commenced vaccinations, including many parts of Africa, according to the WHO.

“The big challenge here is the inequity that we talk about between developed countries and developing countries,” said Berkley.

He noted: “We are only safe if everybody is safe, and nothing tells us this like the new variants, because if we have large populations that are not vaccinated, then there is the risk that we will see new variants pop out and they will continue to spread across the world.”

Berkley added that Covax, as the largest global vaccination programme in history, has placed orders for more than two billion shots, but most will come in the second half of the year.

The Covax CEO tied the delay to “vaccine nationalism” that’s meant there are less doses available.

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