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India ready to help Uganda secure COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: Modi’s India delegation in a meeting 2018 with hosts Uganda led by President Yoweri Museveni. India is likely to supply Africa with their first vaccines.

Museveni says doctors to start finding out efficacy of Ugandan made COVID-19 medicine on December 15, 2020

New Delhi, India | THE INDEPENDENT & XINHUA |  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited three pharmaceutical facilities in the country to review the development and manufacturing process of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Serum Institute in Pune is developing a vaccine that will trigger immunity against COVID-19 in partnership with Oxford’s AstraZeneca. Ahmedabad’s Zydus Cadila Park is developing a vaccine by Zydus Cadila while the Bharat BioTech headquarters is developing a vaccine named Covaxin.

The development of the COVID-19 vaccines is progressing well, but is at least a month or two away from being released after international approvals are got.

When it is ready, the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed initially in India, before being given to developing countries, including Uganda, in an arrangement code named COVAX that is being driven by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and vaccine alliance fund, GAVI.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India told the press after Modi’s visit that “the vaccine will be distributed initially in India, then we will look at the COVAX countries which are mainly in Africa. The UK and European markets are being taken care of by AstraZeneca and Oxford. Our priority is India and COVAX countries.”

Uganda on list of 92 countries to benefit from COVAX AMC

  • The low income nations: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania  and Yemen.

Prime Minister Modi was encouraged by what he saw after his tour of the companies working on a virus.

“Visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to know more about the indigenous DNA based vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila. I compliment the team behind this effort for their work,” Modi wrote on his social media platform after concluding the visit, saying that the government of India is actively working with them to support them further ramp up vaccine manufacturing.

The COVAX Advance Market Commitment

COVAX is one of three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, launched in April by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission and France in response to this pandemic.(click to watch video)

The 92 low and middle-income countries and economies approved by the GAVI Board will be able to access vaccines through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), which will also cover at least part of the cost.

The COVAX AMC forms part of the COVAX Facility, a mechanism hosted by GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for every country in the world.

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

Experts say COVAX is the only truly global solution to this pandemic because it is the only effort to ensure that people in all corners of the world will get access to COVID-19 vaccines once they are available, regardless of their wealth. (see WHO deployment plan at bottom)

This is the result of an extraordinary and unique global collaboration, with more than two-thirds of the world engaged. COVAX has the world’s largest and most diverse portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines, and as such represents the world’s best hope of bringing the acute phase of this pandemic to a swift end.


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