India to supply 1.1 bln doses of COVID-19 vaccines to UNICEF
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) chief, Henrietta Fore on Wednesday said that India’s Serum Institute will be supplying 1.1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Novavax to around 100 countries for approximately USD 3 per dose for the low and lower-middle-income countries.
“Today, we are pleased to announce the conclusion of a long-term supply agreement with the Serum Institute of India for the COVID-19 vaccines, to access two vaccine products through technology transfer from AstraZeneca and Novavax,” she said during a COVAX press briefing.
She further said, “UNICEF, along with our procurement partners including PAHO, will have access to up to 1.1 billion doses of vaccines for around 100 countries for approximately USD 3 a dose for the low- and lower-middle income countries.”
On January 16, India began its coronavirus vaccine rollout by administering 207,229 shots on the first day with the help of hundreds of thousands of health workers who were trained and assisted by the UN agencies.
The Central government has introduced an application named CoWIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Work) to monitor the entire vaccination process.
Two vaccines–Covaxin and Covishield– have received Emergency Use Authorisation after going through established safety and immunogenicity in a well-prescribed regulatory process and these will be administered during the vaccination drive.
Last week, the Ministry of External Affairs had stated that India has gifted over 55 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine to neighbouring countries.
Addressing a weekly briefing, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that New Delhi plans to supply 1 crore or 10 million vaccine doses to Africa and 10 lakh to United Nations health workers under GAVI’s (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) COVAX facility.