Geneva, 13 August 2021 – The first AstraZeneca doses donated to COVAX by the United Kingdom (UK) will soon arrive in Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda, with Zambia and DRC set to be the first to receive these UK-donated vaccines. 119,200 doses will be touching down in Lusaka and 51,840 doses in Kinshasa on 13 August. 119,040 doses are due to arrive in Malawi on 14 August, 140,160 doses in Senegal on 15 August, 299,680 doses in Egypt on 16 August, and 299,520 doses are scheduled to touch down in Uganda on 18 August. The remaining doses will arrive in their recipient countries in the near future.
This shipment of UK-donated doses is part of a broader pledge to share 100 million jabs with the rest of the world, of which 80% will be through COVAX. The UK has already donated approximately 5 million vaccine doses to COVAX and the total number of doses being sent to African countries in this delivery is approximately 3 million. As part of their vaccine donation, UK is also covering the costs of syringes, safety boxes, air freight and other ancillary costs. This UK support will help COVAX deliver at a time when global supply is still under significant pressure, and these deliveries in Q3 of 2021 are particularly important in meeting urgent needs and protecting vulnerable populations as new variants spread.
It comes after £548 million in UK funding to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC) to help COVAX procure doses for 92 lower-income economies. The UK Presidency of the G7 was also instrumental in highlighting the agenda on access to vaccines, and agreeing major dose-sharing commitments with its G7 partners at the Carbis Bay G7 Summit.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “Three million doses of UK-donated vaccines are now arriving in 11 countries across Africa, including Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, to help the fight against COVID-19. This is the first batch of 80 million being donated via COVAX – because we know no one is safe until everyone is safe.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The UK is proud to be a major supporter of COVAX and the crucial work it does in getting vaccines to countries that need them most. The five million doses donated to COVAX are part of our pledge to contribute 100 million vaccines within the next year to help accelerate global access, and it’s fantastic that from today the doses will be making a difference to millions of lives. I am hugely grateful to the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca for producing this vaccine at cost – after all, we are not safe from COVID-19 until the whole world is safe.”
CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Dr Seth Berkley said: “The Government of the United Kingdom has been one of global vaccination’s strongest advocates and an early supporter of COVAX. Dose donations play an important part in COVAX’s mission, especially now as we wait for deliveries to ramp up aggressively in the weeks to come. These deliveries will have a direct impact on protecting some of the most vulnerable people in the world.”
These doses donated by the UK are produced by the AstraZeneca manufacturing network. Donating through COVAX helps to increase vaccine coverage, ensures that no dose goes to waste, and helps to bring an end to the acute phase of the pandemic. The design and operationalization of the COVAX dose sharing mechanism is being supported by a contribution of CAD 5 million from Canada.
More than 600 million doses have already been pledged to COVAX by a number of countries, helping us respond to short-term supply challenges. Thanks to the work of donor governments in overcoming legal and logistical hurdles, COVAX is operationalising increasing numbers of dose-sharing pledges, and we hope to see more deliveries of donated or transferred doses in the weeks and months to come.