COVAX allocates at least 330 million COVID vaccines for poor countries

FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled “COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine” are placed on dry ice in this illustration taken, December 5, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) – The COVAX coronavirus vaccine sharing scheme has allocated at least 330 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for poorer countries in the first half of 2021, the GAVI vaccine alliance said on Wednesday.

The allocation includes an initial 240 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India, an additional 96 million doses of the same shot made by AstraZeneca, plus 1.2 million doses of Pfizer -BioNTech’S COVID-19 vaccine.

Publishing an interim distribution plan, the COVAX Facility, which is co-led by GAVI, the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the U.N. Children’s Fund, said doses would cover an average of 3.3% of total populations of 145 participating countries.

COVAX said the allocations would be subject to various caveats, including WHO emergency listing and countries’ readiness and acceptance.

(The story corrects number of vaccines allocated in first tranche)

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