The United Nations Children’s Fund says it is working to ensure that all the countries that are participating in the COVID-19 vaccine efforts have access to it.
According to UNICEF spokesperson in Nigeria, Mr. Geoffrey Njoku, the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation ever is underway, and UNICEF is leading it on behalf of the Global COVAX Facility.
“We are working to ensure that all countries participating in the Facility (currently 189) have equitable access to two billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021,” Njoku stated in an e-mail.
He said that through the COVAX Facility led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO and CEPI, UNICEF is working with manufacturers and partners on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as freight, logistics and storage.
“In collaboration with the PAHO Revolving Fund, we are leading the procurement and delivery for 92 low- and lower middle-income countries, while also supporting procurement for more than 97 upper-middle-income and high-income nations.
“Together, these represent more than four-fifths of the world’s population,” he said.
Njoku added that the initial two billion doses were intended to protect frontline healthcare and social workers, as well as high risk and vulnerable people.
“Nigeria will benefit from this,” he said.
He also debunked a media report claiming that UNICEF had promised to procure two billion doses of the vaccine for Nigeria.
“It is not true that UNICEF is procuring two billion COVID-19 vaccines for Nigeria.
“We are a population of 200 million, what would happen to the balance 1.8 billion?” Njoku said.
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