Business & Finance
WHO reports COVAX COVID-19 vaccine alliance to supply 355 million vaccine doses to Eastern Mediterranean region in 2021
27 January 2021 -

An official of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Yvan Hutin, said on 27 January 2021 that the COVAX vaccine sharing platform expects to have 25 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for the Eastern Mediterranean region in March 2021, rising to 355 million doses by December 2021, Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

Hutin reportedly stated that the first doses provided for the region through COVAX will arrive in February 2021.

The WHO's Eastern Mediterranean region is comprised of Middle Eastern countries as well as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Djibouti.

COVAX is co-led by the GAVI vaccine alliance, the WHO and others, and is designed to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations globally. COVAX aims to deliver 1.8 billion vaccine doses to poorer countries this year.

According to Richard Brennan, another WHO official, at least five countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region will benefit from the first wave of COVAX vaccines, though the list of countries is yet been confirmed.

Countries with larger populations, lower income and weaker health systems that are expected to make slower progress vaccinating will be prioritised in the COVAX vaccine rollout, WHO officials said.

Brennan added that eight countries in the Eastern Mediterranean have started vaccination campaigns.