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Coronavirus Explainer: What Is COVAX Initiative?

COVAX initiative aims to ensure global access to vaccines against the novel coronavirus by helping buy and distribute vaccination shots fairly around the world

Coronavirus Explainer: What Is COVAX Initiative?
Highlights
  • COVAX aims to ensure global access to vaccines against COVID-19
  • COVAX is initiated by WHO, Gavi and CEPI
  • COVAX aims to deliver 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021

New Delhi: When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus as a pandemic, many health experts across the globe highlighted the need for a vaccine to prevent the virus. Ten months in, it is quite apparent that the world is waiting for a vaccine as all eyes are set on the on-going trials for various vaccine candidates. While the pharma companies and research institutes work on the development of vaccines against COVID-19, COVAX initiative aims to ensure that everyone in the world has access to them.

Triggered by global leaders’ call for a solution to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and equitable access to them for people in all countries, COVAX was launched in April by the WHO, Gavi Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

Also Read: Coronavirus Explained: What Are The Phases In The Clinical Trials Of The COVID-19 Vaccine?

As per WHO, COVAX initiative aims to ensure global access to vaccines against the novel coronavirus by buying and distributing vaccination shots fairly around the world.

The initiative wants to bring together governments, global health organisations, manufacturers, scientists, private sector, civil society and philanthropy, with the aim of providing innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines. COVAX’s aim is to procure and deliver 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021, said WHO.

The global collaboration with participation of 156 countries and economies represents 64 per cent of the global population.

These countries include 64 higher-income economies, which are self-financing the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccines once it is available. However, 92 low-and-middle-income economies are eligible for support for the procurement of vaccines through COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). AMC is coordinated by the Gavi Vaccine Alliance.

According to WHO, the primary focus of the Gavi COVAX AMC is to ensure that the 92 middle- and lower-income countries that cannot fully afford to pay for COVID-19 vaccines themselves get equal access to COVID-19 vaccines as higher-income self-financing countries and at the same time.

With the Commitment Agreements (with the countries) secured, the COVAX Facility will now start signing formal agreements with vaccine manufacturers and developers, which are partners in the COVAX effort, to secure the doses needed to end the acute phase of the pandemic by the end of 2021. This is in addition to an ongoing effort to raise funding for both R&D and for the procurement of vaccines for lower-income countries via the Gavi COVAX AMC, said WHO in a statement.

Also Read: Nine Months Into The COVID-19 Pandemic, Which Vaccine Candidates Are In The Final Stages Of Trial? 

Once any of the COVAX portfolio vaccines have successfully undergone clinical trials and proved themselves to be both safe and effective and have received regulatory approval, available doses will be allocated to all participating countries at the same rate, proportional to their total population size. A small buffer of about 5 per cent of the total number of available doses will be kept aside to build a stockpile to help with acute outbreaks and to support humanitarian organisations, for example, to vaccinate refugees who may not otherwise have access, Gavi explains.

Even though self-financing participants can request for enough doses to vaccinate between 10-50 per cent of their population, no country will receive enough doses to vaccinate more than 20 per cent of its population until all countries in the financing group have been offered this amount, it adds.

As per the organisation, this strategy should lead to lower vaccine costs for everyone.

Through COVAX, governments will work together, not only to secure vaccines for their own populations, but also to help ensure that vaccines are available to the most vulnerable everywhere. Wealthy countries that join COVAX will finance the vaccine purchases from their national budgets, and will partner with the poorer nations supported through voluntary donations, to ensure vaccines are delivered equitably, Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi explained.

Participating wealthy countries are also free to procure vaccines through bilateral deals and other plans, he added.

Also Read: Russia To Supply 100 Million Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine To India’s Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

The WHO goes on to further describe COVAX as an “invaluable insurance policy” for all countries to secure access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are developed and approved. WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said,

COVID-19 is an unprecedented global crisis that demands an unprecedented global response. Vaccine nationalism will only perpetuate the disease and prolong the global recovery. Working together through the COVAX Facility is not charity, it’s in every country’s own best interests to control the pandemic and accelerate the global economic recovery.

CEPI is leading the COVAX vaccine research and development work, which aims to develop at least three safe and effective vaccines which can be made available to economies participating in the COVAX Facility.

Some of the countries that have joined COVAX include Canada, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Norway and Oman, among others.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,14,68,997Cases
22,22,61,229Active
3,40,08,183Recovered
51,99,585Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,14,68,997 and 51,99,585 have died; 22,22,61,229 are active cases and 3,40,08,183 have recovered as on November 29, 2021 at 3:42 am.

India

3,45,72,523 8,774Cases
1,05,6911,328Active
3,39,98,278 9,481Recovered
4,68,554 621Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,72,523 confirmed cases including 4,68,554 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,05,691 and 3,39,98,278 have recovered as on November 28, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,33,612 507

11,905 248

64,80,799 738

1,40,908 17

Kerala

51,29,359 4,741

49,152 957

50,40,528 5,144

39,679 554

Karnataka

29,95,285 322

6,783 143

29,50,306 176

38,196 3

Tamil Nadu

27,24,731 740

8,382 36

26,79,895 765

36,454 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,446 248

2,158 5

20,55,856 253

14,432

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,373 5

86 5

16,87,377 9

22,910 1

West Bengal

16,14,152 701

7,820 27

15,86,882 717

19,450 11

Delhi

14,40,834 27

290 11

14,15,448 37

25,096 1

Odisha

10,48,492 264

2,222 6

10,37,864 255

8,406 3

Chhattisgarh

10,06,733 27

326 7

9,92,814 20

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,741 26

187 13

9,45,599 13

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,382 28

291 17

8,16,999 45

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,120 23

112 9

7,82,480 14

10,528

Haryana

7,71,654 11

159 1

7,61,441 10

10,054

Bihar

7,26,212 3

39 6

7,16,510 9

9,663

Telangana

6,75,479 160

3,545 11

6,67,946 148

3,988 1

Assam

6,16,435 123

2,720 71

6,07,624 189

6,091 5

Punjab

6,03,190 17

313 22

5,86,284 39

16,593

Jharkhand

3,49,216 20

109 0

3,43,967 20

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,183 14

150 6

3,36,626 8

7,407

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,386 149

1,724 5

3,30,189 141

4,473 3

Himachal Pradesh

2,26,941 82

809 18

2,22,287 97

3,845 3

Goa

1,78,839 40

275 9

1,75,183 31

3,381

Mizoram

1,34,279 358

4,117 110

1,29,672 466

490 2

Puducherry

1,28,860 35

326 5

1,26,662 30

1,872

Manipur

1,25,117 19

673 1

1,22,474 18

1,970 2

Tripura

84,784 13

89 9

83,874 3

821 1

Meghalaya

84,414 20

308 27

82,635 44

1,471 3

Chandigarh

65,443 5

52 4

64,571 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,269 9

37 4

54,952 5

280

Sikkim

32,211 4

114 5

31,694 9

403

Nagaland

32,100 4

135 1

31,269 5

696

Ladakh

21,494 27

249 6

21,032 21

213

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394

28 1

10,315 1

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,680 2

5 2

7,546

129

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