COVID-19: AstraZeneca marks anniversary of 1st COVAX vaccine deliveries to Africa

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By Abujah Racheal

Abuja, Feb. 28, 2022 The Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine on Monday, marked its first anniversary of COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to Africa under the COVAX.

This is contained in a statement by the company on Monday in Abuja, signed by Dr Barbara Nel, Country President for Africa, AstraZeneca.

Nel said AstraZeneca is committed to expanding and accelerating vaccine supplies to the African region through 2022 and beyond to help governments reach their vaccination targets.

NAN reports that COVAX, is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF as well as the World Bank, civil society organisations, manufacturers, and others.

One year ago, the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine began to arrive in countries across the world through the COVAX initiative, as part of the largest global vaccination drive in history.

On Feb. 24, 2021, 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine were received by health authorities in Ghana.

“Within days, the Ivory Coast received 504,000 doses. Since then, more than 310 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered through COVAX to 130 countries.”

She noted that an estimated of 70 million doses have reached sub-Saharan Africa, making the AstraZeneca vaccine one of the most used COVID-19 vaccine across the continent to date.

She said: “As part of our commitment to putting broad and equitable access at the heart of our pandemic response, AstraZeneca was proud to be the first global pharmaceutical company to join COVAX in 2020.

“Our strong partnerships with the Serum Institute of India (SII), GAVI – the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization are vital to deliver on our commitment to supply Africa with the COVID-19 vaccine at no profit.

“We commend the work being done by governments across the continent to increase immunization coverage and to protect their citizens from severe disease.”

Naija247news reports that, according to global estimates, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has helped prevent 50 million COVID-19 cases and five million hospitalizations, helping save more than one million lives.

AstraZeneca and its partners have released for supply more than 2.6 billion vaccine doses to more than 180 countries across every continent, approximately two-thirds of these doses have gone to low and lower-middle-income countries.