Yemen receives 360,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses through the COVAX Facility

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ADEN, Yemen, 31 March 2021 – Today, Yemen received 360,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). The AstraZeneca vaccines licensed and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India will enable health workers and other priority populations vulnerable to COVID-19 to be protected against the virus.

UNICEF Representative, Philippe Duamelle, and WHO Representative, Dr Adham Ismail, took delivery of the vaccines in Aden, together with the Minister of Health and Population, Dr. Qasim Buhaibeh, and the Deputy Minister of Public Health and Population, Dr. Ali Alwaleedi. The 360,000 doses arrived together with 13,000 safety boxes and 1,300,000 syringes that are critical for the safe and effective roll-out of the vaccination campaign. This first batch is part of 1.9 million doses that Yemen will initially receive throughout 2021.

“The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine doses is a critical moment for Yemen,” said UNICEF Representative Philippe Duamelle. “As COVID-19 continues to claim lives around the world, Yemen now has the capacity to protect those most at risk, including health workers, so that they can safely continue to provide life-saving interventions for children and families. Vaccines work, vaccines save lives, now let’s start getting people vaccinated”, he added.

“This shipment represents an important step in the fight against COVID-19 in Yemen. It will help save lives, including of those at highest risk of serious disease, and will help protect the health system. These safe and effective vaccines will be a gamechanger, but for the foreseeable future we must continue wearing masks, physically distance and avoid crowds,” said Dr Adham Ismail, WHO representative in Yemen.

“We are delighted Yemen has received its first COVAX vaccine doses and we look forward to the launch of the vaccination campaign,” said Rehan Hafiz, Senior Country Manager Yemen, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. “Thanks to the work of the Government of Yemen and of the COVAX partners, and with the support of our donors, we are now able to protect our most vulnerable populations. Our work is only just beginning but the arrival of the first COVAX Covid-19 doses is a major milestone for Yemen.”

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as key implementing partner, as well as civil society organisations, vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, and others.

Help UNICEF Give The World A Shot by donating at vaccinaid.org. The money raised will help UNICEF deliver 2 billion Covid-19 vaccines around the world in 2021, as well as tests and treatments, through the global COVAX facility. It is the biggest health operation in history, to ensure no one is left behind in the efforts to eradicate Covid-19 and its devastating impact.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

– Multimedia materials will be available here as they become available

– Full COVAX News Note to Editors: https://www.who.int/initiatives/act-accelerator/covax/covax-news-note-to-editors

– List of donor pledges to the Gavi COVAX AMC: https://www.gavi.org/sites/default/files/covid/covax/COVAX-AMC-Donors-Table.pdf

– UNICEF COVAX page https://www.unicef.org/supply/covax-ensuring-global-equitable-access-covid-19-vaccines

For more information, please contact:

Unicef UK Media Team, 0207 375 6030, media@unicef.org.uk

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work for children. We also promote and protect children’s rights in the UK and internationally. We are a UK charity, entirely funded by supporters.

United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), Registered Charity No. 1072612 (England & Wales), SC043677 (Scotland).

For more information visit unicef.org.uk. Follow UNICEF UK on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

About WHO
The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States across six regions and from more than 150 offices to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.

About Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 822 million children – and prevented more than 14 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 developing countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines.  After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching the unvaccinated children still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at www.gavi.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here.