Paraguay receives first of COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX Mechanism
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ASUNCIÓN, March 19, 2021 (PAHO/WHO). Paraguay today received 36,000 doses of AstraZeneca Bioscience COVID-19 vaccines produced in the Republic of Korea, purchased through the COVAX Mechanism, in a global effort between the Coalition for the Promotion of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi), UNICEF, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The arrival of these vaccines in the country represents an important step towards achieving the goal of ensuring equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history through the COVAX mechanism. In the coming weeks, new shipments of vaccines take place, and it is expected to complete by the end of May the 304,800 doses that are part of the first round of allocation of AstraZeneca vaccines made by COVAX to Paraguay.
These vaccines will be used to protect priority and high-risk groups, such as health care workers and the elderly. While moving forward with vaccination, it is important to maintain prevention measures that have proven to be effective.
“Until vaccination is widespread in the population, basic public health measures remain the foundation of the pandemic response. For public health authorities, this means continuing diagnostic testing, contact tracing, isolation, assisted quarantine and quality care. And for individuals, it means continuing to practice physical distancing, hand washing, correct use of masks, space ventilation and avoiding crowds,” said Dr. Luis Roberto Escoto, PAHO/WHO Representative in Paraguay, paraphrasing PAHO’s Director Dr. Carissa F. Etienne.
“The arrival of these vaccines in Paraguay is a crucial step in the response to COVID-19, especially given the difficult health situation the country is going through,” said Dr. Rafael Obregón, UNICEF Representative in the country. “UNICEF will continue to support the country’s vaccination efforts and promotion of preventive measures to control the pandemic to facilitate the eventual return to normalcy, including protection of children and a safe return to school.”
COVAX, the vaccine pillar of the COVID-19 Access to Tools Accelerator (ATA), is co-led by the Coalition for Promoting Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi), and the World Health Organization (WHO), working in partnership with UNICEF, as well as civil society organizations, vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank and others. COVAX seeks to provide vaccines for at least 20% of the population in each participating country globally during 2021.
The PAHO Revolving Fund has been involved in developing COVAX since its inception and is responsible for negotiating and procuring COVID 19 vaccines for countries in the Americas.
For 40 years, PAHO's Revolving Fund has been helping countries in the region protect their populations against some of the deadliest and disabling diseases in the world, including polio, measles, yellow fever, rotavirus and human papillomavirus. The countries of the Americas procure their vaccines through this solidarity cooperation mechanism that consolidates purchase of vaccines, syringes and supplies used in vaccination.
UNICEF promueve los derechos y el bienestar de todos los niños y niñas en todo lo que hacemos. Junto a nuestros aliados, trabajamos en 190 países y territorios para transformar este compromiso en acciones prácticas, centrando especialmente nuestros esfuerzos en llegar a los niños más vulnerables y excluidos, para el beneficio de todos los niños, en todas partes.
Para más información sobre UNICEF y su trabajo para la niñez, visite www.unicef.org/paraguay.