UNICEF is already the biggest single vaccine purchaser on this planet.
The UNICEF stated it would stockpile 520 million syringes in its warehouses, as half of a bigger plan of 1 billion hypodermic needles by 2021, to ensure preliminary provide and assist make sure that syringes can be found in international locations earlier than the COVID-19 vaccines arrives.
“Because the world awaits a COVID-19 vaccine, UNICEF has begun laying the groundwork for the fast, secure and environment friendly supply of the eventual vaccine by buying and pre-positioning syringes and different needed tools,” the UN company stated on Monday.
The company stated as quickly as COVID-19 vaccines efficiently emerge from trials and are licensed and advisable to be used, the world will want as many syringes as doses of vaccine.
To start preparations, this 12 months, the UNICEF will stockpile 520 million syringes in its warehouses, half of a bigger plan of 1 billion syringes by 2021, to ensure preliminary provide and assist make sure that syringes arrive in international locations earlier than the COVID-19 vaccines, it stated.
Throughout 2021, assuming there are sufficient doses of COVID-19 vaccines, UNICEF anticipates delivering over one billion syringes to assist COVID-19 vaccination efforts on prime of the 620 million syringes that it’ll buy for different vaccination programmes in opposition to different ailments similar to measles, typhoid and extra.
“Vaccinating the world in opposition to COVID-19 can be one of many largest mass undertakings in human historical past, and we might want to transfer as rapidly because the vaccines might be produced,” UNICEF Government Director Henrietta Fore stated.
“With a view to transfer quick later, we should transfer quick now. By the top of the 12 months, we are going to have already got over half a billion syringes pre-positioned the place they are often deployed rapidly and cheaply. That is sufficient syringes to wrap all over the world one and a half instances,” Fore stated.
In keeping with the longstanding collaboration between the 2 companions, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, will reimburse the United Nations Youngsters‘s Fund (UNICEF) for the procurement of the syringes and security packing containers, which shall then be used for the COVID-19 Vaccine World Entry Facility (COVAX Facility) and for different Gavi-funded immunisation programmes if needed.
Moreover syringes, UNICEF can be shopping for 5 million security packing containers in order that used syringes and needles might be disposed of in a secure method by personnel at well being services, thus stopping the chance of needle stick accidents and blood borne ailments. Each security field carries 100 syringes. Accordingly, UNICEF is “bundling” the syringes with security packing containers to make sure sufficient security packing containers can be found to associate with the syringes.
The UNICEF stated injection tools similar to syringes and security packing containers have a shelf life of 5 years. Lead-times for such tools are additionally lengthy as this stuff are cumbersome and must be transported by sea freight.
Vaccines, that are warmth delicate, are usually transported extra rapidly by air freight. Along with saving time, early buy of syringes and security packing containers additionally reduces strain in the marketplace and pre-empts potential early spikes in demand when vaccines do develop into out there.
As the important thing procurement coordinator for Gavi, the UNICEF is already the biggest single vaccine purchaser on this planet, procuring greater than 2 billion doses of vaccines yearly for routine immunisation and outbreak response on behalf of almost 100 international locations.
Yearly, UNICEF gives vaccines for nearly half of the world’s kids and procures and provides round 600-800 million syringes for normal immunisation programmes. COVID-19 vaccines will possible treble or quadruple that quantity, relying on the variety of COVID-19 vaccines which are in the end produced and secured by the UNICEF.
“Over 20 years, Gavi has helped an extra 822 million kids from the world’s most weak international locations entry essential, life-saving vaccines,” CEO of Gavi Seth Berkley stated. “This is able to not have been potential with out our partnership with UNICEF, and it’s this similar collaboration that can be important to Gavi’s work with the COVAX Facility.”
To guarantee that vaccines are transported and saved on the proper temperature, the UNICEF, together with WHO, can be mapping out current chilly chain tools and storage capability – within the personal in addition to public sector – and making ready needed steering for international locations to obtain vaccines.
“We’re doing every part we are able to to ship these important provides effectively, successfully and on the proper temperature, as we already accomplish that nicely everywhere in the world,” Fore stated.
Even previous to the COVID-19 pandemic, with assist from Gavi and in partnership with WHO, UNICEF has been upgrading the present chilly chain tools throughout well being services in international locations to make sure that vaccines stay secure and efficient all through their journey. Since 2017, over 40,000 cold-chain fridges, together with photo voltaic fridges, have been put in throughout well being services, largely in Africa.