- Title: COVAX among the contenders for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
- Date: 30th September 2021
- Summary: In April 2020, the WHO, European Commission and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched an initiative known as the ACT (Access to COVID-19 Tools) Accelerator. COVAX is the part that focuses on vaccines. The COVAX programme was launched to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to some of the world's poorest people. BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FILE - MAY 4, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SIGN ON EUROPEAN COMMISSION BUILDING READING (English): "CORONAVIRUS GLOBAL RESPONSE"
- Embargoed: 14th October 2021 01:18
- Keywords: COVAX COVID-19 WHO World Health Organization vaccination vaccine-sharing
- Location: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- City: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- Country: Various
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001EWXT8AV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: COVAX, a programme aiming to ensure fair global access to COVID-19 vaccines, is among the contenders for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
Launched in April 2020, the programme is a response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and is co-led by the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).
The programme's initial ambitions of acting as a vaccine clearing house were scaled back in June to focus on countries deemed most in need.
COVAX has been plagued by vaccine shortages, caused initially by richer nations' hoarding of limited doses. These countries already had many vaccines through separate bilateral deals with pharmaceutical firms
Subsequently supplies were hit by drugmakers' problems in ramping up production and export restrictions in manufacturing hub India, which has held up delivery of many of the 240 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that COVAX allocated in late February.
These issues have reduced its capacity to deliver to poorer nations. It has so far shipped about 300 million doses to over 140 countries, far off of its initial target of 2 billion doses by the end of the year, which has now been cut to 1.4 billion.
Vaccination rates in some countries, including Haiti and Democratic Republic of Congo are less than 1%, a Reuters tracker shows.
There are 329 candidates for 2021's Nobel Peace Prize, the third highest number of contenders for the prestigous award ever.
The winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on October 8.
(Production: Michael Fiorentino)
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