(By Ernesto Cooke) – SVG is among thirty-six countries who were written to about the estimated number of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine the country would be receiving from the second half of February through the second quarter of 2021.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is still under review by WHO for emergency use approval (EUL), which is expected to occur in the next few days.
The number of doses and delivery schedule is still subject to EUL and manufacturing production capacity, as well as establishing supply agreements between the producers, PAHO, and UNICEF.
In anticipation of vaccine delivery, the countries participating in the COVAX mechanism began the process of preparing to receive and deploy the vaccines.
As COVAX communicates about the start of delivery of the first doses of vaccine, countries must ensure that they are ready to use the vaccines. PAHO provided technical assistance during the preparation phase.
Countries participating in COVAX were also invited to submit proposals for the “First Wave” initiative, a global pilot program to receive a limited number of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in advance of their total allotted quota.
“The Pan American Health Organization has provided technical support to the Member States to support them in each phase of their participation in the COVAX Mechanism and in preparation of their national COVID-19 vaccination plans,” said PAHO Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa.
“The use of these vaccines will allow us to advance in the fight to confront this pandemic, but we must still maintain and strengthen public health measures – such as the use of masks, avoiding crowds, social distancing and frequent hand washing – to prevent transmission, increased cases and deaths from COVID-19,” added Barbosa.
PAHO’s Revolving Fund, together with UNICEF, is procuring all vaccines on behalf of COVAX for countries in the Americas.