First batch of vaccines from COVAX arrives in Sri Lanka

The first batch of coronavirus vaccines from the COVAX facility arrived in Sri Lanka today.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) delivered the first shipment of 264,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine provided to Sri Lanka under the World Health Organization’s COVAX facility.

The first shipment of 264,000 COVAX vaccines was delivered through UNICEF via Emirates Sky Cargo, one of the ten leading airlines which have signed agreements under UNICEF’s Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative.

UNICEF had been contracted with procuring and delivering the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka.

The vaccines are part of the 1.44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility allocated for the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka.

UNICEF said the first 264,000 doses from COVAX will be for the most vulnerable persons above 60 years of age group in the most high-risk areas impacted by COVID-19.

As part of the agreement between the Ministry of Health and the COVAX Facility, the supply of the 1.44 million doses will be procured by UNICEF in stages until May 2021, subject to the availability from manufacturers and authorization by WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL).

UNICEF led supply operation to Sri Lanka on behalf of the COVAX Facility is part of one of the largest global vaccine procurement and supply operations that covers the procurement and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low- and lower middle-income countries around the world.

As the largest single vaccine buyer in the world, UNICEF is currently geared to deliver 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines globally in 2021. (Colombo Gazette)