The United Nations Children’s Fund on Tuesday urged the G-7 countries to contribute to the COVAX facility, an international vaccine equity initiative designed to assist the world’s poorest countries in acquiring COVID-19 vaccines.
Remember that the Serum Institute of India, a major supplier to the COVAX facility, announced its intention to stop exporting vaccines due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in India.
As a result, vaccine shortages have emerged in Nigeria and other African countries that rely on the facility for vaccine supply.
In a joint statement titled “An open letter on COVID-19 vaccine,” UNICEF partners and ambassadors specifically pleaded with G-7 member countries Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States to donate to the COVAX facility.
Part of the statement, which was released on Tuesday, said: “UNICEF is already on the ground delivering vaccines on behalf of COVAX, the international vaccine equity initiative”.
“But right now, COVAX is 190 million doses short of where it needs to be, which leaves vulnerable people dangerously unprotected. Some countries have committed to donating vaccines later this year, but doses are needed now.
“UNICEF analysis shows that G-7 countries will soon have enough doses to donate 20 per cent of their vaccines between June and August – over 150 million doses – without significant delay to current plans to vaccinate their adult populations.
“We are asking you to make these urgent donations by August and to set out a roadmap to scale up donations as supplies increase. Forecasts suggest as many as one billion doses may be available for donation by year end.”