AstraZeneca Progresses Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccine to Low- and Middle-Income Countries

AstraZeneca has announced that the mass rollout of its COVID-19 vaccine has begun via the COVAX initiative.

AstraZeneca has announced, in a March 2, 2021 press release, that the mass rollout of its COVID-19 vaccine has begun via the COVAX initiative. These first steps by the company in the distribution of the vaccine to low- and middle-income countries will fulfill its efforts to provide broad and equitable access.

So far, shipments of the vaccine have been dispatched to Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire with more expected to begin arriving in the Philippines, Indonesia, Fiji, Mongolia, and Moldova shortly. Vaccine shipment allocations have been made according to the COVAX Allocation Framework, which determines volume per participating country based on several factors, such as readiness and national vaccination plans.

“These first steps towards fulfilling our broad, equitable, and no-profit emergency response to the pandemic mean millions of people, irrespective of their country’s income level, will soon be protected against this deadly virus,” said Pascal Soriot, CEO, AstraZeneca, in the press release. “This is a moment of great pride for us at AstraZeneca and I am extremely grateful to our partners including Gavi, CEPI, and Oxford University for their hard work and dedication in order to make this humanitarian ideal a reality for many millions of people around the world.”

“Global, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines is only possible when the public and private sectors work together,” added Seth Berkley, CEO, Gavi, in the press release. “When we launched the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment in June 2020, our first Agreement was with AstraZeneca. Nine months later, the first doses are already being delivered to those that need them most. This is the beginning of COVAX’s effort to end the acute phase of the pandemic, not the end, but we can all take strength from this moment and I thank AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for their support and partnership at every step of our journey.”

Source: AstraZeneca