Covid-19 vaccine: Côte d’Ivoire, São Tomé, Príncipe will soon receive syringes from UNICEF

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  • UNICEF aims to make 2 billion doses of Covid-19 available for delivery in 2021.
  • UNICEF will ship more than 14.5 million 0.5ml and 0.3ml auto-disable syringes to more than 30 countries.

February 23, 2021: Côte d’Ivoire, São Tomé and Príncipe will receive syringes for Covid-19 vaccines in the first wave of UNICEF shipments. UNICEF sent 100,000 syringes and 1,000 safety boxes for Covid-19 vaccinations to the Maldives by air cargo from the UNICEF humanitarian warehouse in Dubai as part of the first wave of Covid-related syringe deliveries. 19 which is due to start in the next few days.

The 0.5ml syringes and safety boxes are expected to arrive in Male, Maldives today (February 23). Over the next few weeks, UNICEF will ship more than 14.5 million 0.5ml and 0.3ml auto-disable syringes to more than 30 countries. While the 0.5 ml syringes are intended for use with the Serum Institute of India / AstraZeneca vaccine, the 0.3 ml syringes are intended for use with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“In this global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, syringes are as vital as the vaccine itself,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “It is essential to have an adequate supply of syringes already in place in each country before the vaccine arrives so that the vaccine can be administered safely. This would allow the vaccination to begin immediately and help turn the tide on this terrible virus. “

The countries that will receive syringes in this initial tranche are among those included in the COVAX indicative distribution and that have requested UNICEF to provide syringes. These shipments will support the in-country deployment of Covid-19 vaccines and are part of the COVAX Centre’s work to deliver vaccines to all participating countries.

The 0.5ml syringes are shipped from the UNICEF humanitarian warehouse in Dubai, while the 0.3ml and 2ml syringes will be shipped directly from a manufacturer in Spain. Shipments will also include safety boxes for the safe disposal of syringes.

Both syringes are of the self-locking type, which means that they can no longer be used after administration of a single dose of the vaccine. This reduces the risk of infection with blood-borne diseases as a result of reusing the syringe.

In total, UNICEF will provide up to 1 billion syringes and 10 million safety boxes to countries in 2021 to ensure they are ready for Covid-19 vaccinations. In order to meet the demand for these vital supplies, UNICEF has created a stockpile of nearly half a billion syringes in its warehouses in Copenhagen and Dubai for the wider deployment of Covid-19 vaccines in 82 countries. low or lower middle income.

UNICEF works with airlines, logistics operators and freight forwarders to ensure that syringes are treated as priority cargo, whether they are shipped directly from a manufacturer or from UNICEF warehouses to the point of entry of the country of destination. Although the first deliveries will be airlifted, most syringes and safety boxes will be transported by sea due to the large amount of space they take up as cargo.

UNICEF aims to make 2 billion doses of Covid-19 available for delivery in 2021. Even before Covid-19, UNICEF was already the world’s largest purchaser of vaccines, purchasing more than 2 billion vaccines per year for reach nearly half of the world’s vaccines. children under 5 years old. In addition, the agency purchases and supplies around 600 to 800 million syringes for regular immunization programs each year.

COVAX is a global collaboration co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), WHO and UNICEF.



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