A new Covid-19 vaccine shipment funded by COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access) arrived in Kabul on Monday.
This is the second shipment with 468,000 doses of the COVID-19, after India’s shipment which included 500,000 doses of the vaccine.
This shipment delivered the COVISHIELD vaccine, from AstraZeneca Serum institute of India in Mumbai.
“Afghanistan is the first country in Central Asia to receive the vaccine via the COVAX – the facility that is set to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021,” UNICEF stated.
According to the statement, 468,000 doses of vaccines, 470,000 syringes, and 4,700 safety boxes were also part of the shipment.
“The arrival of the first COVAX doses today is a major milestone. Gavi looks forward to continuing our collaboration with the people of Afghanistan and partners to ensure the smooth and equitable distribution of vaccines to those most in need. It is going to be challenging, but if we all maintain momentum and keep working together, we will defeat this pandemic,” Ricard Lacort, senior country manager Afghanistan and Djibouti for Gavi said.
Sheema Sen Gupta, UNICEF Afghanistan Representative a.i.. said, “This is a great day for the people of Afghanistan. The imminent roll-out of the COVAX facilitated COVID-19 vaccine means that around 234,000 people, including teachers, will be better protected from the ravages of the COVID-19 virus. UNICEF is especially pleased that the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education have included teachers as a priority for this wave of vaccines ahead of back to school on March 21. Together, our priority is to open all schools and get all of Afghanistan’s children back to their classes, their studies, and their friends”.
The statement added that the world’s poorest countries will benefit from Advance Market Commitment an innovative financial mechanism to help secure global and equitable access for COVID-19 vaccines, this includes assisting with the development of national vaccination plans, support for cold chain infrastructure, as well as stockpiling of have a billion syringes and safety boxes for their disposal, masks, gloves and other equipment to ensure that there is enough equipment for health workers to start vaccinating priority groups as quickly as possible, the statement read.
Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access is a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization.
Ministry of Public Health has reportedly enabled the fight against the pandemic by rolling out the vaccine.MoPH appreciated the COVAX facility and international donors for their continued support and that efforts are underway to accelerate immunizing all eligible afghans against COVID-19.
“COVAX has built a diverse portfolio of vaccines suitable for a range of settings and populations and is on track to meet its goal of delivering at least 2 billion doses of vaccine to participating countries around the globe in 2021, including at least 1.3 billion donor-funded doses to the 92 lower-income COVAX Facility participants supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC,” UNICEF said in the statement.