A new lot of COVID-19 vaccines shipped by COVAX arrive in Moldova
Chisinau, 17 April 2021. Today, Moldova received 48 thousand of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO. This is another step towards achieving the goal to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.
The current lot will bring the number of doses received by Moldova through COVAX in the first quarter of 2021 to 86,970. The COVAX deliveries will continue in the coming days and weeks, with more than 100 thousand doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine expected to be shipped by the end of June.
The COVAX platform has also launched a cost-sharing mechanism, through which the Republic of Moldova will procure more than 2 million doses of vaccine against COVID-19, at advantageous prices. The cost-sharing mechanism further facilitates equitable access to the vaccine, in addition to the doses to be provided free of charge to 20% of the country's population, in order to increase the coverage of the population with COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVAX Facility has now delivered life-saving vaccines to over 100 economies.
“In under four months since the very first mass vaccination outside a clinical setting anywhere in the world, it is tremendously gratifying that the roll-out of COVAX doses has already reached one hundred countries,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “COVAX may be on track to deliver to all participating economies in the first half of the year yet we still face a daunting challenge as we seek to end the acute stage of the pandemic: we will only be safe when everybody is safe and our efforts to rapidly accelerate the volume of doses depend on the continued support of governments and vaccine manufacturers. As we continue with the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history, this is no time for complacency.”
“Thanks to all who have contributed and the solidarity, as the next consignment of COVID-19 vaccines secured by COVAX have arrived today to the Republic of Moldova. Safe and effective vaccines alone cannot solve the pandemic: rapid diagnostics and life-saving therapeutics are also vital to end the pandemic and accelerate global recovery. Decisions made by everyone will determine when the acute phase of the pandemic will end,” stressed Dr Igor Pokanevych, WHO Representative in the Republic of Moldova.
“While vaccines aren’t a silver bullet, on the eve of the World Immunization Week 2021 we should reiterate that they are not only the greatest advances of modern medicine but also a public good that saves lives. UNICEF looks forward to these vaccines being made available to the people most at risk and helping return life to normal,” said Maha Damaj, UNICEF Moldova Country Representative. “Vaccines have brought us closer, and will bring us closer again” concluded Maha Damaj.
As of today, more than 90 thousand Moldovans, accounting for 2% of the total population, received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with more than nine thousand fully vaccinated with two doses.
Six weeks after the start of the COVID-19 immunization in Moldova, the number of cases of COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers decreased four fold: from 12% to 3%.
COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as key implementing partner, as well as civil society organisations, vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, and others.
COVAX has built a diverse portfolio of vaccines suitable for a range of settings and populations, and is on track to meet its goal of delivering at least 2 billion doses of vaccine to participating countries around the globe in 2021, including at least 1.3 billion donor-funded doses to the 92 lower-income COVAX Facility participants supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC.
About Team Europe
The EU's response to the coronavirus pandemic follows a ‘Team Europe' approach, aimed at saving lives by providing quick and targeted support to our partners to face this pandemic. It combines resources from the EU, its Member States and financial institutions, in particular the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Quotes from partners and donors
Dereck J. Hogan, US Ambassador to Moldova said: "I am proud of the United States’ contributions to the COVAX program. The arrival of this new lot of vaccines against COVID-19 is great news and a sign of the United States’ continuing dedication to the Moldovan people. The rapid spread of the virus has demonstrated that no nation can overcome this pandemic alone. That’s why the United States, through USAID, is working with the global community to accelerate worldwide access to COVID-19 vaccines. We are truly stronger together”
EU Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova Peter Michalko mentioned: “With this new delivery of vaccines via the COVAX platform, Team Europe continues to be close to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova and provide concrete support for the vaccination process, which is vital for the life and health of people in the country. The EU and its Member States are one of the largest donors for the COVAX platform, and Moldova was the first country in Europe to receive a donation of vaccines via COVAX. The EU would like to ensure that its neighbours, its partners have access to vaccines. We hope that this lot of additional 48,000 vaccines to the ones previously offered will have tangible impact for an equitable and fair access to vaccines in the Republic of Moldova”.
The German Ambassador Mrs Angela Ganninger said: “I am glad that another batch of vaccines has arrived in the Republic of Moldova free of charge via the international COVAX facility. Germany supports this initiative as one of the largest donors. I encourage all those who are eligible under the national vaccination plan to seriously consider their opportunity to get vaccinated as this is the most promising way to overcome the pandemic and its consequences.”
Ambassador of Japan Katayama Yoshihiro said: "I am pleased to see more vaccines arriving to Moldova, and would like to inform the Moldovan citizens that Japan continues to be an important member of COVAX facility."
Notes to Editors
Full COVAX News Note to Editors: https://www.who.int/initiatives/act-accelerator/covax/covax-news-note-to-editors
List of donor pledges to the Gavi COVAX AMC: https://www.gavi.org/sites/default/files/covid/covax/COVAX-AMC-Donors-Table.pdf
The United States, through USAID, is accelerating global access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines through the historic $4 billion contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Team Europe, bringing together EU and its Member States, contributed to COVAX with over €2.2 billion, including another €900 million recently pledged by Germany.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org