GENEVA: Pakistan, Nigeria and Indonesia will be among the biggest recipients of free Covid-19 vaccines before June — more than 10 million doses each — the Covax scheme announced on Tuesday.
Some 238.2 million doses will be distributed around the world by the end of May, in a major acceleration of the programme aimed at boosting access to coronavirus jabs in poorer nations.
Though vaccination campaigns have gathered pace globally, the majority of injections have been administered in wealthier countries while many nations have yet to receive a single dose.
But the World Health Organisation (WHO) — a co-leader of the Covax programme — says providing vaccines to all countries is the only way out of the pandemic.
The Covax scheme, which is aimed at ensuring equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, on Tuesday outlined delivery plans for hundreds of millions of doses.
The five biggest confirmed recipients are Pakistan (14,640,000), Nigeria (13,656,000), Indonesia (11,704,800), Bangladesh (10,908,000) and Brazil (9,122,400).
They are followed by Ethiopia (7,620,000), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (5,928,000), Mexico (5,532,000), Egypt (4,389,600) and Vietnam (4,176,000).
Iran, Myanmar, Kenya and Uganda are also in line for more than three million doses each.
Overall by the end of May, India is likely to be the biggest recipient of Covax doses, but its allocation was not finalised before Tuesday’s distribution list publication.
The Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is meanwhile set to receive the smallest number of doses at 4,800, followed by Nauru and Monaco with 7,200 each.
Covax is co-led by the WHO, the Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
“Our goal is to protect as many people as possible,” said Gavi chief executive Seth Berkley.
“Covax’s mission is to help end the acute phase of the pandemic as soon as possible.” The deliveries include some 237 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, being manufactured in India and South Korea, and another 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which requires special ultra-cold storage.
The scheme is aiming to distribute enough doses to vaccinate up to 27 per cent of the population in the 92 poorest participating economies by the end of the year.
Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Korea and Colombia have already received their first shipments of vaccines through Covax.
Nigeria, Angola, Cambodia and the DR Congo were all due to receive their first vaccine doses via Covax on Tuesday.
Most wealthy countries have procured their own vaccines, and so far some 260 million vaccine doses have been administered globally.
Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2021