Home >Companies >News >First batch of Covishield delivered to COVAX: Adar Poonawalla calls it historic

Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India, describes COVAX receiving the first doses of Covishield as a historic moment adding that SII will continue to be at forefront of fighting the pandemic with affordable and immunogenic vaccines.

On Wednesday, Ghana has become the first country in the world to receive vaccines acquired through the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative with a delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.

The vaccines, delivered by UNICEF, arrived at Accra's international airport early Wednesday and are part of the first wave of COVID-19 vaccines being sent by COVAX, an international cooperative programme formed to make sure low- and middle-income countries have fair access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Following this, Poonawalla said: It's a historic moment for all of us as COVAX receives its first doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made by SII, 'COVISHEILD'. SII will continue to be at forefront of fighting the pandemic with affordable & immunogenic vaccines

He also tweeted: Thanks to the combined efforts of @gavi @GaviSeth @WHO@UNICEF@gatesfoundation@BillGates, the first batch of vaccines were delivered to #COVAX by @SerumInstIndia,@UniofOxford@AstraZeneca. Thank you @vonderleyen for your support. This is indeed a historic moment!

COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and others.

Last month, the MEA announced that India plans to supply 1 crore or 10 million vaccine doses to Africa and 10 lakh to United Nations health workers under GAVI's COVAX facility.

Pune-based company is manufacturing the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, one of the two shots that India is using to initially vaccinate some 300 million people as part of a national inoculation drive

The company's head Adar Poonawalla on Sunday urged other countries to be "patient", saying it had been instructed to prioritize its home market over exports.

"We are trying our best," Poonawalla said.

Ghana is among 92 low-and middle-income countries that are receiving vaccines for free through COVAX. Another 90 countries and eight territories have agreed to pay if they choose to receive vaccines through COVAX.

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