Chile receives first shipment of vaccines against COVID-19 through COVAX
This is the first shipment of vaccines from the British laboratory AstraZeneca to enter the country through the COVAX mechanism of which UNICEF is part.
SANTIAGO/Chile, April 23, 2021 - This Friday, the first shipment of 158,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, out of a total of 818,400, purchased through the COVAX mechanism, arrived at the Santiago de Chile airport.
The vaccines acquired by Chile through the COVAX mechanism will exceed 7 million doses and will arrive in the country gradually over the course of 2021.
The arrival of COVAX vaccines in Chile takes place thanks to the collaboration of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the European Union, the U.S. government and some private companies. This mechanism allows countries that can buy vaccines to buy them so that countries that cannot afford vaccines can have access to them.
The Minister of Health, Enrique Paris, said: “today is a day of great joy as it demonstrates global solidarity in this fight against the pandemic, since COVAX is framed in the concept of solidarity, equality and the right to receive vaccines of all peoples of the world”.
UNICEF Representative in Chile, Paolo Mefalopulos, pointed out that “the vaccines that arrive today through the COVAX mechanism will allow us to continue with the vaccination process for the population against COVID-19. We hope that adults, according to the schedule defined by the Ministry of Health, will be vaccinated so that children and adolescents can resume their daily activities as of before the pandemic, such as going to school, kindergarten or to the square and play with their friends, visit their grandparents and relatives”, adding that to protect children, adults must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, PAHO/WHO Representative in Chile, Fernando Leanes, referred to the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, pointing out that they are authorized “by the most rigorous regulations in the world, such as those of the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom”.
In addition to UNICEF and WHO, the Undersecretary of Public Health, Paula Daza, the US Chargé d’Affaires in Chile, Richard Glenn, the Ambassador of the European Union in Chile, León de la Torre Krais, and the researcher of the National Clinical Trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the University of Chile, Sergio Vargas, participated in the activity to receive the vaccines.
COVAX is a global collaborative initiative to accelerate development and production of tests, treatments and vaccines against COVID-19; along with ensuring equitable access to all countries around the world.
The goal of the COVAX mechanism is to ensure that people in all corners of the world, regardless of income, can receive coronavirus vaccines as they become available.
A total of 171 economies, representing nearly two-thirds of the world’s population, are currently committed or eligible to receive vaccines through this mechanism.
The COVAX Mechanism is co-led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi), of which UNICEF is a member, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
AstraZeneca vaccine in Chile
On January 6, the Institute of Public Health (ISP, in Spanish) authorized the use of the vaccine from the British laboratory AstraZeneca for people over 18 years of age. On April 19, the ISP updated the protocol, after an exhaustive review of the information presented by the European Medicines Agency and other international regulatory authorities, recommending that this vaccine be administered in women over 55 years of age and in men from 18 years of age. In the vaccination plan against SARS-CoV-2 in Chile, this vaccine will be used in men over 18 years of age. With a 2-dose schedule, at an interval of 0-12 weeks (0-84 days).
UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/lac/en.