COVAX is finally here, and more to come
Ensuring equal and quick access to COVID-19 vaccines
There was a big round of applause when the Emirates plane touched down at Kamuzu International Airport with 360,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines procured under the COVAX initiative. Everyone was buzzing with excitement while waiting for the supplies to offload.
“I am very happy about the vaccine arrival today and to be a part of this historic moment. There has been lot of work that has been done planning for the COVAX arrival, and now we have to get the vaccine to the people.” – Steve Macheso (R), UNICEF Health Specialist
On the tarmac, the UNICEF Country Representative, the UN Resident Coordinator, heads of development agencies, members of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 including the Ministers of Health and Education, pose for a group photo with their COVAX posters. The COVAX initiative has played an important role in ensuring every country, even those with the smallest economies have equal and quick access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The UNICEF country representative inspecting the supplies along with UNICEF health and supply colleagues.
“As the largest vaccine buyer in the world, UNICEF is coordinating and supporting the procurement, international freight, and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines for the COVAX Facility. It is a proud moment for everyone.” – Rudolf Schwenk, UNICEF Country Representative
“Scientists were kept busy trying to discover a vaccine, now the vaccine has arrived in Malawi, and I have no doubt about the rollout of this vaccine because Malawi has already performed well in the expansion of immunization programmes. We have a very strong cold chain system, with strong capacity and leadership at the Ministry of Health, this is going to be a very successful rollout in Malawi.” - Tedla Damte (R), UNICEF Chief of Health
Malawi Defence Force personnel escorting the vaccines from the plane to the cargo area.
The vaccines were then loaded on to a truck to transport to cold chain storages. The next shipment of 1.6 million vaccines under the COVAX facility is expected to arrive in the country in mid-march. In total, Malawi is expected to receive 7.6 million doses of vaccines to vaccinate at least 20 per cent of the population.