Monday, 29 November 2021 02:26 GMT

UK donates COVID-19 vaccines to Malawi


(MENAFN- Caribbean News Global) LONDON, England – This is the first tranche of the 100 million vaccines the prime minister pledged the UK would share within the next year at last month's G7 in Cornwall, 80 million of which will go to COVAX, a scheme that ensures equitable, global access to Covid-19 vaccines.

The consignment arrived into Malawi on Saturday, August 14, 2021, through Kamuzu International Airport. Malawi's Health minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda received the vaccines on behalf of the Malawi government.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, British High Commission Charge d'Affaires, Fiona Ritchie, said:“At this time when Malawi continues to be heavily impacted by COVID-19, evidenced by high levels of cases, hospitalisations and deaths, we're doing this to help the most vulnerable, but also because we know we won't be safe until everyone is safe. The UK's donation is the outcome of the pledge that G7 leaders made to vaccinate the world and end the pandemic as a matter of urgency.

Minister of health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, said:“ We are very grateful for the UK Government's donation of 119,040 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccines which will support the COVID-19 response. This will help us realise our goal of vaccinating around 3.8 million Malawians, particularly frontline workers and the most vulnerable, so we can put this pandemic behind us and focus on growing the economy.”

The UK helped establish COVAX in 2020, providing a total of £548 million to fund vaccines for lower-income countries. The scheme has delivered more than 152 million vaccine doses to over 137 countries and territories, including in 83 lower-middle-income countries. Sixty- five percent of the initial vaccine doses have been Oxford-AstraZeneca. COVAX aims to deliver 1.8 billion vaccines to lower-income countries around the world by early 2022.

The UK provided £90 million to support the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine: £25 million on the initial research and development, and £65 million to scale up manufacturing.

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