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UNICEF, Sinovac agree to supply more COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-07-29 13:42
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A healthcare worker prepares a dose of China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a mass vaccination program at a train station, as cases surge in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 28, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

KAMPALA - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has recently signed an agreement with the Chinese firm Sinovac to supply developing countries with more COVID-19 vaccines via the COVAX mechanism.

The agreement gives hope for broadening access to vaccines in developing countries, UNICEF Representative to Uganda Munir Safieldin tweeted late Tuesday, a day after UNICEF announced the deal.

"This is certainly great news. The more approved vaccines available through COVAX, the more people in middle- and low-income countries can access the vaccines against COVID-19," Safieldin said.

"No one is safe, until everyone is safe," he added.

Through the supply agreement, UNICEF will have access to up to 200 million doses of vaccines in 2021 to supply the countries and territories participating in the COVAX initiative.

According to the World Health Organization, developing countries need hundreds of millions more jabs to fend off surging infections.

"We continue to see a disparity in access to vaccines with developed countries vaccinating their people while developing countries are struggling to get vaccines," Ugandan Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said, while receiving a French donation of medical supplies on Tuesday.

"We all know now that vaccination is the most sure way to reduce the spread of the pandemic. It also prevents patients from presenting severe symptoms," Nabbanja added.

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