Posted: Monday, May 3, 2021. 6:09 pm CST.
By Zoila Palma: The World Health Organization (WHO) has welcomed the announcement by Sweden to share 1 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines with the COVAX facility.
“Sweden’s announcement that it will share 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with COVAX is a superb gesture that must be replicated urgently, and repeatedly, by governments around the world to accelerate the equitable rollout of vaccines globally,” said WHO Director General, Dr. Ghebreyesus Tedros.
The COVAX facility is in need of 20 million doses for the second quarter of 2021 to supply low-income countries.
However, there has been interruptions in supply due to the increased demands for vaccines in India where COVAX’s main supplier of the AstraZeneca product is based.
Through COVAX, WHO and partners are advocating for countries to make contributions, like Sweden’s, to donate doses from their stocks to boost vaccine supplies to COVAX to deepen vaccination coverage in low income countries and to ensure populations in such places receive needed second doses.
WHO notes that several other countries have made similar commitments recently, including New Zealand and France.
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