Colombia receives second shipment of 912,000 COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Mechanism

The COVAX Mechanism ratifies the objective of guaranteeing access and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, in what is the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.

28 April 2021
El Mecanismo COVAX
UNICEF

BOGOTÁ, 15 April 2021 - As part of the agreement between Colombia and the COVAX mechanism, today the country received 912,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. The COVAX mechanism is a global effort between the Coalition for Promoting Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“It is from the Pan American Health Organization, with the Revolving Fund for acquisition of vaccines, that this joint work is being done to acquire vaccines for all countries in the region of the Americas (...) The vaccine that arrives in the country, is a safe, effective and quality vaccine. It has been approved for emergency use (EUL) by the World Health Organization and approved by the national regulatory authority, Invima,” said Dr. Gina Tambini, PAHO/WHO Representative in Colombia.

Jessica Faieta, UN Resident Coordinator in Colombia said: “We recognize the Multilateral Mechanism COVAX commitment and congratulate the appointment of Colombia, together with the European Union as co-chairs of the Mechanism Board of Shareholders. Colombia has made a great effort, not only in accelerating vaccination, but in betting on this multilateral mechanism and for this we recognize the Government work and in particular the Minister of Health and all his staff who have been at the forefront of the process”.

“COVAX has a commitment with Colombia and with the whole world and has had the possibility of arriving with 912,000 vaccines, in a really timely manner to be able to advance in our vaccination plan. (...) Colombia as well as the European Union has bet on COVAX, like 36 other countries in the Americas, Colombia has wanted to move forward and believe that a multilateral mechanism, in association with GAVI, CEPI, WHO, PAHO and UNICEF, can make a difference for our societies in the provision of vaccines” declared Dr. Fernando Ruiz, Minister of Health.

Moreover, Patricia Llombart, Ambassador of the European Union in Colombia highlighted: “As the European Union and the 27 countries that make up the EU we are happy to see this shipment arriving in Colombia. This means that more than 400,000 people will find protection and peace of mind against the virus. (...) This shipment is the result of international cooperation, through the multilateral mechanism COVAX, created at the beginning of the pandemic to promote the arrival of vaccines in an equitable manner, effective and safe vaccines to all parts of the world and leaving no one behind motto”.

The Director of the Administrative Department of the Presidency of the Republic (DAPRE), Victor Muñoz, said that “In the coming days we will be reaching 5 million doses applied; this is essential for us to continue with the immunization process. (...) Infinite gratitude to the Covax Mechanism that allows us to continue advancing with the National Vaccination Plan and with the immunization of Colombians”, he said.

PAHO's Revolving Fund, in charge of the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines for the countries of the Americas through the COVAX Mechanism, coordinated the shipment of these 912,000 doses of the vaccine developed by the AstraZeneca laboratory and the University of Oxford and acquired by the Colombian government, been authorized for emergency use by the WHO and is manufactured by SK Bioscience of South Korea. The vaccines arrived this Sunday, April 25, at Bogota's El Dorado International Airport.

“For UNICEF it is a double joy, first because we are celebrating the Vaccination Week of the Americas, yesterday we launched the children’s vaccination week of vaccination against measles; and today we are receiving this shipment of vaccines under the COVAXMechanism, another example of what can be done when working in a united and coordinated way”, ratified Aida Oliver, UNICEF representative in Colombia.

Present at the reception ceremony were Fernando Ruiz, Minister of Health; Víctor Muñoz, Director of DAPRE; Jessica Faieta, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Colombia; Gina Tambini, PAHO/WHO Representative in Colombia; Aida Oliver, UNICEF Representative in Colombia; Patricia Llombard, Ambassador of the European Union in Colombia; and Gerardo Burgos, Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Protection.

Media contacts

Laurent Duvillier
Regional Chief of Communication
UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: + 507 3017393
Tel: + 507 6169 9886
Alfonso Fernández Reca
Regional Communication Specialist
UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 69412277,

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