COVAX delivers its billionth COVID-19 vaccine dose

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(VOVWORLD) - The UN-led COVAX scheme has delivered one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 144 countries and territories, one of the organizations that manage the program announced on Saturday.

COVAX delivers its billionth COVID-19 vaccine dose - ảnh 1UN staff inspect a batch of COVAX COVID-19 vaccines that will be shipped to Tunisia. (Photo: VNA)

The COVAX program was set up in 2020 to ensure global access to coronavirus vaccines, particularly to poorer countries. The program is backed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

COVAX intends to deliver 2 billion doses by the end of 2021. Thus, COVAX has only completed 50% of the set target, which is determined by the actions of the richer countries to hoard vaccines, the export restriction orders of vaccine producing countries and changes in the plan.

Despite the recent surge in deliveries, vaccine inequity remains high. The latest WHO data shows 67% of the population in richer nations have been fully vaccinated, compared with only 5% in poorer nations. Over 40% of the world's population has not yet received a first dose.

Gavi, a vaccine alliance which co-manages COVAX, is seeking more funds to reach the WHO's goal of vaccinating 70% of the population in poorer nations by July.