29/03/2021 - 17:30
Guyana received today its first COVAX shipment of 24 000 vaccines, further boosting the country’s vaccination efforts against the dreaded coronavirus.
EU Ambassador to Guyana, Dr Fernando Ponz Cantó, who joined representatives from the UN, PAHO/WHO, UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and other key partners, at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on Monday morning to witness the arrival remarked that, ‘’the European Union is committed to work to ensure that everyone who needs a vaccine gets it, anywhere in the world and not only at home.’’ He further highlighted that, ‘’COVAX is an essential vehicle for delivering on international vaccine solidarity and this first delivery is most welcomed as Guyana is forging ahead with vaccinations’’.
The COVAX mechanism, a global collaboration to which the EU is a major contributor, will deliver 32 million doses to 59 countries by the first quarter of 2021, and aims to secure 1.3 billion doses for 92 low and middle-income countries by the end of the year. Vaccine flights have been taking off almost every day, and to date, the EU has announced over EURO 2.2 billion, including EURO 1 billion from the EU budget, to the COVAX Facility, in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, GAVI the Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). This contribution makes the European Union as a whole, COVAX’s biggest donor to date.
In addition, EU Member States will be able to further offer part of their doses to other third countries’ citizens through the EU Sharing mechanism, once the level of production within the EU and the overall epidemiological situation will allow it.