Pakistan gets 3m doses of Moderna vaccine under COVAX

Author: Staff Report

The second consignment of 3 million doses of Moderna (mRNA-1273) COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States to the COVAX Facility arrived in Pakistan on Monday, bringing the total doses donated by the US through COVAX to 5.5 million.

According to a joint statement released by UNICEF and WHO, the donation is part of the 870 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses pledged by the G7 through the COVAX Facility dose-sharing mechanism to support global equitable access to vaccines in 2021 and 2022, with the aim to deliver at least half by the end of 2021.

The COVAX, the global COVID-19 vaccine equity scheme, has delivered a total of 8 million doses of vaccine to Pakistan since May 8, including 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca, 100,000 doses of Pfizer and 5.5 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

To date, close to 7 million people have been fully vaccinated and nearly 20 million have been partially vaccinated in Pakistan since the start of the national vaccination campaign in February 2021.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan has now reached close to a million, while nearly 23,000 people are reported to have succumbed to the disease.

“Despite national, regional, and global efforts, the pandemic is nowhere near finished. WHO will continue to work with the Government of Pakistan and donors to implement activities to control transmission and advocate for equitable vaccine access and distribution. Vaccines are key in the fight again COVID-19 and we encourage everyone to get their vaccine immediately,” says Dr Palitha Mahipala, WHO Representative in Pakistan. “We thank the US government for expressing their solidarity with Pakistan through this donation. Nobody is safe until everyone is safe.”

The allocation of extra doses of COVID-19 vaccines by G7 countries to COVAX will not only limit the spread of COVID-19, it will also prevent new variants from emerging.

Strictly complying with COVID-19 public health and social measures continue to be critical to stopping the spread of virus. These include regularly wearing face masks, washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use a sanitiser; remaining at least six feet away from other people; avoiding crowded places, and staying at home and seeking care when having COVID-19 symptoms.

The goal of COVAX is to help address the acute phase of the global pandemic by the end of 2021 by providing rapid, fair and equitable access to safe and effective vaccines for all participating countries and territories regardless of income level.

The COVAX Facility, co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, together with UNICEF, aims to provide access to quality-assured COVID-19 vaccines, enabling the protection of frontline health care and social workers, as well as other high-risk and vulnerable groups.

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