The World Health Organization (WHO) reported this Saturday that it had already distributed 1,000 million doses of coronavirus vaccines through the Global Access Fund for COVID-19 Vaccines (COVAX).
“COVAX has just delivered the 1 billionth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Thank you to all our partners and donors for your support and contributions,” WHO wrote on its Twitter account.
“However, the work is not done yet. We must promote immunization equity and vaccinate 70 percent of the population in all countries by mid-2022,” the WHO said.
The 1 billionth dose is in a shipment arriving in Rwanda this Saturday, reported Gavi, the alliance of governments, companies, foundations and UN agencies that manages the COVAX program. The program has enabled vaccines to be shipped to 144 countries thanks to donations of more than $10,000 million.
Gavi Director Seth Berkley has stressed that vaccine distribution remains very uneven and that 49 percent of the world’s population has not received a single dose. “The pandemic is evolving and we will redouble our efforts to close the vaccine equity gap,” he said.
The goal is to raise funds to “bolster preparation and delivery, particularly for high-risk countries, to improve their ability to absorb delivered doses as quickly as possible,” Berkley explained.
The original goal was to vaccinate 40 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021. For example, in Africa only 10 percent of the population is vaccinated, while in countries like Germany 185 doses per 100 inhabitants have been administered.
Wealthy countries have signed deals with pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the vaccine independently of the COVAX mechanism, and have thus managed to monopolize most of the world’s production.