Nigeria is set to receive COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX. The vaccines are among the first of more than a billion doses going to developing countries and at least 16 million to Nigeria this year through COVAX, which is explicitly designed to ensure global access to vaccines, including for low and middle-income countries, and to ensure that doses are allocated equitably at a global level.
Through a huge international effort – which the UK has led and galvanised – the whole world can now start moving towards the end of this pandemic, according to a statement issued by the British High Commission.
The statement noted that the UK was one of the first countries to back COVAX.
To date the UK has committed £548 million to COVAX to ensure global access to vaccines and has consistently called on other donors to step up their support.
“We did it because we want to be a force for good in the world. We were also the biggest donor in 2020 to CEPI, an alliance financing and coordinating the development of new vaccines to prevent and contain infectious disease epidemics, including for COVID-19: these vaccines will help the global fight against the virus.
“So far, the UK has committed up to £829 million for the development of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics and their distribution to developing countries. This brings our total new UK aid commitment to fight the pandemic worldwide to up to £1.3 billion. We are one of the largest donors to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment – the scheme to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines by low- and middle-income countries. The UK has also helped to raise $1 billion for the coronavirus COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) through match-funding other donors,” the statement explained.
The statement quoted the Development Director at the British High Commission said, Dr. Christopher Pycroft, as saying that: “We’re proud to be one of the biggest donors to COVAX, securing over one billion doses for the most vulnerable people in countries around the world. We do it because we want to be a force for good in the world, and because we need a global solution to a global pandemic. Today, with UK aid support, people in Nigeria will be amongst the first to receive vaccinations through COVAX – the biggest ever global vaccine campaign to end the pandemic.”
“COVAX began to deliver vaccines to lower income countries on Wednesday, February 24. We expect all those countries to receive vaccines through COVAX to vaccinate the most vulnerable by June. With support from UK aid, more than a billion COVID-19 vaccines will go to up to 92 developing countries this year, with targets in place to help them vaccinate the most vulnerable by June,” the statement said.
This latest development follows the news last week of the unanimous agreement of UN Security Council Resolution 2565 for ceasefires in conflict zones to allow the delivery of vaccines to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. The UK called for this resolution as Chair of the UN Security Council last month. The resolution was co-sponsored by 112 countries, including all 15 members of the Security Council.