March 3

The First COVID-19 Vaccines Shipped Through COVAX Were Administered in the Ivory Coast

By Jamie Ducharme

Frontline workers and public officials from the Ivory Coast on March 1 became the first people in the world to receive COVID-19 vaccines shipped from the COVAX Facility, in a long-awaited step toward global health equity.

COVAX, a joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO); Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, aims to ensure fair access to vaccines in countries around the world. Wealthier nations were able to purchase enough vaccines through the COVAX Facility to inoculate up to 50% of their populations, and 92 middle- and low-income nations will receive free vaccines. Many wealthier countries—about 30 nations total—also contributed money to funding the free aspect of the problem; they, along with the European Commission and a number of private organizations, have so far pledged more than $6 billion.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Schludi.

Source: TIME (link opens in a new window)