Pakistan tops list as Covax details rollout of 238m vaccine doses
Some 238.2 million doses will be distributed around the world by the end of May through the programme aimed at boosting access to coronavirus jabs in poorer nations.
Though vaccination campaigns have gathered pace globally, the majority of injections have been administered in wealthier countries while many nations have yet to receive a single dose.
The Covax scheme, aimed ensuring equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, on Tuesday outlined plans to deliver to 142 countries and territories by May 31, in its first wave of distribution.
The five biggest confirmed recipients are Pakistan (14,640,000 doses), Nigeria (13,656,000), Indonesia (11,704,800), Bangladesh (10,908,000) and Brazil (9,122,400).
They are followed by Ethiopia (7,620,000), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (5,928,000), Mexico (5,532,000), Egypt (4,389,600) and Vietnam (4,176,000).
Iran, Myanmar, Kenya and Uganda are also in line for more than three million doses each.
The Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is meanwhile set to receive the smallest number of doses at 4,800, followed by Nauru and Monaco with 7,200 each.
- Ending pandemic's 'acute phase' -
The scheme is aiming to distribute enough doses to vaccinate up to 27 percent of the population in the 92 poorest participating economies by the end of the year, with at least 1.3 billion doses intended to go their way.
"Covax's mission is to help end the acute phase of the pandemic as soon as possible," said Gavi chief executive Seth Berkley.
The first wave of deliveries include some 237 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, being manufactured in India and South Korea, and another 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which requires special ultra-cold storage.
Both vaccines require two injected doses.
Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Korea, India and Colombia have already received their first deliveries of vaccines through Covax.
Senegal was set to get its first batch on Wednesday, and some 20 countries in total are due to receive shipments this week.
- African production plan -
The African Union Commission will host a meeting on April 12 aimed at developing a roadmap for the continent to start manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines.
Some 198 countries and territories are participating in Covax, though not all are in the first wave of distribution.
For the 92 lower- and lower-middle-income economies in the scheme, funding is covered through donations.