Sweden’s Donation of 1m COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to COVAX is a Superb Gesture-Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus

WHO has approved several types of COVID-19 Vaccines

Somalilandsun: Sweden has donated 1 million AstraZeneca shots to the global COVAX program, a small boost as it struggles to get stocks to inoculate the world’s poorest people.

This donation comes after Sweden which briefly halted the use of AstraZeneca secured a deal for supply of  supply 34 million  doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this year.

The donation to COVAX  was hailed by the World Health Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement as one that shall help the global Facility provide life-saving vaccines to people at risk from COVID-19 in low income countries.

“Sweden’s announcement that it will share 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with COVAX is a superb gesture that must be replicated urgently, and repeatedly, by governments around the world to accelerate the equitable rollout of vaccines globally,” said Dr Tedros, after meeting with Sweden’s Minister for Development Cooperation, Mr Per Olsson Fridh, during his visit to WHO’s headquarters in Geneva.

COVAX urgently needs 20 million doses during the second quarter of 2021 to cover interruptions in supply triggered by increased demands for vaccines in India where COVAX’s main supplier of the AstraZeneca product is based.

Dr Tedros added: “Such support will ensure that people in vulnerable countries, especially, in Africa, will be able to receive their second doses through the COVAX initiative. Sweden’s generous support is very timely as it comes at a time when the world needs it most.”

WHO and its partners are advocating for countries to make contributions, like Sweden’s, to donate doses from their stocks to boost vaccine supplies to COVAX to deepen vaccination coverage in low income countries and to ensure populations in such places receive needed second doses. Several other countries have made similar commitments recently, including New Zealand and France. Ends

Sweden’s Donation of 1m COVID-19 Vaccines Doses with COVAX is a Superb Gesture-Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Director General WHO

The Swedish donation is the second by a European Union member after France last month amid mounting concerns about growing inequity in vaccine distribution after wealthy countries built up stocks of shots for its citizens.

The European block also wants the bloc to regain the initiative in vaccine diplomacy from Russia and China.
Sweden paused the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March after reports of rare, but serious, blood clots among people who had received that shot. It later resumed the use of the shot, but only for people aged 65 or above