Delivering on the promise
Ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines
The COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives forever and spurred an immediate, global race to develop safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. The pace at which vaccines were developed was a huge step forward for the world and marked the start of the journey to deliver those vaccines.
For East Asia and Pacific, this year has seen waves of record highs in COVID-19 cases as well as deaths, with new variants making the virus much harder to contain and increasing the urgency to deliver.
Through the COVAX Facility, many countries have been able to get access to safe and affordable vaccines. Doses donated through COVAX have also provided timely relief to the region.
Once doses have been secured, they are shipped for delivery. For parts of the region, this has meant navigating the hurdles of reaching some of the most remote communities, while transporting the vaccines at a regulated temperature to preserve their quality.
Through the COVAX Facility – led by GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI) – UNICEF is working with manufacturers and partners on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as freight, logistics and storage.
Another key part of the journey has been training healthcare workers on proper handling and administering the vaccines. Healthcare workers are the heroes in white that are often seen as the most reliable source of information so preparing them with accurate and relevant information has been a key driver of success for tackling vaccine hesitancy.
Once the vaccines and injection devices reach healthcare workers, vaccination rollout can start. They began with the most vulnerable groups and the frontline workers that have been at the heart of the battle since the start of the pandemic. As more shipments continue to arrive across the region, countries have been able to broaden their vaccination plans and expand their coverage.
While the region is only at the beginning of its path to recovery, there is an ongoing, relentless effort to reach as many people as quickly as possible. UNICEF is proud to work with governments and development partners to ensure equitable access to the vaccines, leaving no one behind. This journey began with an urgent call to protect the world against COVID-19 and will only end once the vaccines reach everyone, everywhere.