UNICEF to lead procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the world’s largest and fastest ever operation of its kind.
On behalf of the global COVAX Facility, UNICEF will work with manufacturers and partners on the procurement of vaccine doses as well as freight, logistics, and storage of COVID-19 vaccines.
With several vaccine candidates showing promise, the United Nations Children’s Fund, in collaboration with the Revolving Fund of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), will lead efforts to procure and supply doses of COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility for 92 low and lower-middle-income countries, whose vaccine purchases will be supported by the mechanism.
UNICEF will undertake these efforts in close collaboration with WHO, Gavi, CEPI, PAHO, World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners. The COVAX Facility is open to all countries to ensure that no country is left without access to a future COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is an all-hands on deck partnership between governments, manufacturers, and multilateral partners to continue the high-stakes fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.
“In our collective pursuit of a vaccine, UNICEF is leveraging its unique strengths in vaccine supply to make sure that all countries have safe, fast, and equitable access to the initial doses when they are available,” she added.
The key next step would be ensuring self-financing economies sign up for the COVAX Facility by 18 September, which would allow COVAX to support early, at-risk investments in increasing manufacturing capacity on a broad scale.