By Spy Uganda
Five million of these doses are being offered to the COVAX Facility to ensure equitable, global access to COVID-19 vaccines. Through the COVAX Facility, the much-needed vaccines will urgently be distributed to lower-income countries, including Uganda, via an equitable allocation system, which prioritizes timely delivery to people who most need them. Another four million doses will be shared directly with countries in need.
As part of this, Uganda received 299,520 doses of the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, made by Oxford Biomedica in Oxford and packaged in Wrexham, North Wales in August 2021.
This is the first tranche of the 100 million vaccines Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged the UK would share within the next year at last month’s G7 in Cornwall, with 30 million due to be sent by the end of the year. At least 80 million of the 100 million doses will go to COVAX, with the rest going to countries directly. The donations follow the pledge that G7 leaders made to vaccinate the world and end the pandemic in 2022.
The deployment helped meet the urgent need for vaccines from countries around the world, including in Africa, which continues to experience high levels of COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths.
The UK has been at the forefront of the global response to COVID-19, including through investing £90 million to support the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Over half a billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been delivered at a non-profit price globally, with two-thirds going to lower and middle-income countries.
The UK also kickstarted efforts to 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. 65% 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.