Kabul, Afghanistan, March 8, 2021: immediately, Afghanistan obtained doses of COVID-19 vaccine shipped through the COVAX facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO. This can be a historic step in direction of the aim of guaranteeing equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines all over the world, in what would be the largest vaccine procurement and provide operation in historical past. The supply is a part of a primary wave of arrivals that can proceed within the weeks and months to return.

On March 8, 2021, COVAX shipped 468,000 doses of the COVISHIELD vaccine, from the Astra Zeneca Serum Institute of India, Mumbai. He arrived on the afternoon of Monday March 8, on an Emirates flight, at Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport. The arrival in Kabul marks a pivotal second. Afghanistan is the primary nation in Central Asia to obtain the vaccine by way of COVAX – the ability that’s anticipated to ship not less than 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the top of 2021.

Along with 468,000 doses of vaccine, 470,000 syringes and 4,700 security packing containers have been additionally a part of the cargo.

“The arrival of the primary doses of COVAX immediately is a significant milestone. Gavi seems ahead to persevering with to work with the Afghan folks and companions to make sure the graceful and equitable distribution of vaccines to those that want them most. It will be a problem, but when all of us keep our momentum and proceed to work collectively, we’ll overcome this pandemic, ”mentioned Ricard Lacort, Senior Nation Supervisor Afghanistan and Djibouti for Gavi.

Sheema Sen Gupta, Performing UNICEF Consultant in Afghanistan. mentioned: “This can be a nice day for the Afghan folks. The approaching rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine facilitated by COVAX implies that roughly 234,000 folks, together with academics, might be higher protected against the ravages of the COVID-19 virus. UNICEF is especially happy that the Ministry of Well being and the Ministry of Schooling have included academics as a precedence for this wave of vaccines earlier than the beginning of the varsity yr on March 21. Collectively, our precedence is to open all faculties and convey again all Afghan kids. to their courses, to their research and to their associates.

WHO official Dr David Lai mentioned: “The COVID-19 vaccine is a large step ahead in our combat in opposition to the pandemic. Guaranteeing vaccine high quality, security and efficacy has been certainly one of WHO’s high priorities, however vaccines solely work when paired with public well being methods. We did not get right here in a day and neither will we get out in a day, however immediately our hope is renewed. The tip of the sport is obvious. Nevertheless, Afghanistan will want the continued assist of the worldwide neighborhood to make sure that the nation which is already affected by many years of battle and insecurity just isn’t left behind within the race to finish COVID-19.

“The Ministry of Public Well being of the Authorities of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is additional empowered to fight the COVID-19 pandemic by deploying the vaccine,” mentioned Dr Wahid Majrooh, Performing Minister of Public Well being. “The MoPH appreciates the COVAX facility and worldwide donors for his or her continued assist. We should speed up our efforts to make sure that all eligible Afghans are vaccinated and guarded in opposition to COVID-19, as it’s crucial step to finish this pandemic. “

For a number of months, COVAX companions have been supporting governments and companions of their preparation efforts, in preparation for this second. They’ve been significantly lively in working with a number of the

poorest international locations on the earth: those that will profit from the Pre-Market Dedication (AMC), an modern monetary mechanism to assist guarantee international and equitable entry to COVID-19 vaccines. This consists of serving to to develop nationwide immunization plans, supporting chilly chain infrastructure, in addition to storing half a billion syringes and security packing containers for disposal, masks , gloves and different gear to make sure that there’s sufficient gear for well being staff to start out immunizing precedence teams as quickly as doable.

To ensure that doses to be delivered to COVAX facility members by way of this primary allocation cycle, a number of crucial components have to be in place, together with affirmation of nationwide regulatory clearance standards associated to the vaccines delivered, compensation agreements , nationwide immunization plans of AMC members, in addition to different logistical elements reminiscent of export and import licenses.

As members full the above standards and finalize preparation preparations, COVAX will situation buy orders to the producer and ship and ship the doses by way of an iterative course of. Which means deliveries for the primary allocation cycle will happen on a rolling and phased foundation.

As vaccines start to be rolled out all over the world, they need to complement, not exchange, confirmed public well being measures. It’s also vital to develop entry to fast diagnostics and remedy, reminiscent of oxygen and dexamethasone, as advocated by the ACT Accelerator. International locations should additionally proceed to use confirmed measures to efficiently stop and management transmission, reminiscent of bodily distancing, masks, air flow and hand hygiene, alongside strong packages to check, hint, isolate and deal with. .

COVAX has constructed a various portfolio of vaccines appropriate for a spread of settings and populations, and is on monitor to fulfill its aim of delivering not less than 2 billion doses of vaccine to collaborating international locations all over the world by 2021, together with not less than 1 , 3 billion donors. Dose funding to the 92 low-income COVAX facility members supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC.

COVAX, the vaccine pillar of the COVID-19 Instrument Entry Accelerator (ACT), is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Improvements (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the World Well being Group ( WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as the principle implementing accomplice, in addition to civil society organizations, vaccine producers, the World Financial institution and others.

Media contacts

Dr Fazil Ahmad

Unicef

Cellphone: +93 (0) 799987605

E mail: [email protected]

Dr Nazary

Ministry of Public Well being, Afghanistan

Cellphone: +93 (0) 79 722 3009

E mail: [email protected]



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