UNICEF, originally known as the United Nation International Children’s Emergency Fund is a United Nations agency created on 11 December, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children and mothers in countries that had been devastated by World War II. It is responsible for providing humanitarian and development aid to children worldwide.
Due to day to day increase rate of SARS Cov-2 worldwide, people are expecting vaccine that can cure and prevent it. With several vaccine candidates showing promise, UNICEF, in collaboration with the PAHO Revolving Fund, will lead efforts to procure and supply doses of COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the COVAX Facility for 92 low- and lower middle-income countries whose vaccine purchases will be supported by the mechanism through the Gavi COVAX AMC as well as a buffer stockpile for humanitarian emergencies. In addition, UNICEF will also serve as procurement coordinator to support procurement by 80 higher-income economies, which have expressed their intent to participate in the COVAX Facility and would finance the vaccines from their own public finance budgets.
UNICEF is leading efforts to acquiesce and supply Covid-19 vaccine in what could possibly be the world’s largest and fastest ever acquisition and supply of vaccines, as part of the global vaccine plan of the Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX Facility) led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
UNICEF will undertake these efforts in close collaboration with WHO (World Health Organization), Gavi, CEPI, PAHO, World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners. The COVAX Facility is open to all countries to ensure that no country is left without access to a future COVID-19 vaccine.
UNICEF is the largest single vaccine buyer in the world, procuring more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunization and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries. It is the main procurement partner of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which over the last 20 years has reached more than 760 million children with life saving vaccines,
preventing more than 13 million deaths. UNICEF will use its market shaping and procurement expertise to coordinate the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines for the COVAX Facility. This could potentially double the agency’s overall vaccine procurement throughput volume in 2021 alone.
In response to an expression of interest that UNICEF issued in June on behalf of the COVAX Facility, 28 manufacturers with production facilities in 10 countries shared their annual production plans for COVID-19 vaccines through 2023. According to the timelines the manufacturers indicated, the span from development to production could be one of the fastest scientific and manufacturing leaps in history.