Yemen on Wednesday received 360,000 coronavirus vaccine doses via the COVAX Facility, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund announced in a statement.
The AstraZeneca vaccines will enable health workers and other vulnerable groups to be protected against COVID-19, UNICEF said.
“Yemen received 360,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO),” the statement said.
“The AstraZeneca vaccines licensed and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India will enable health workers and other priority populations vulnerable to COVID-19 to be protected against the virus.”
A total of 360,000 doses arrived in Yemen with 13,000 safety boxes and 1,300,000 syringes, according to UNICEF.
The first batch is part of 1.9 million doses that Yemen will initially receive throughout 2021, the agency added.
“The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine doses is a critical moment for Yemen,” said UNICEF Representative Philippe Duamelle.
“As COVID-19 continues to claim lives around the world, Yemen now has the capacity to protect those most at risk, including health workers, so that they can safely continue to provide life-saving interventions for children and families. Vaccines work, vaccines save lives, now let’s start getting people vaccinated”, he added.
The COVAX global vaccine-sharing scheme ensures that 92 of the poorest countries in the world can access vaccines, with the cost covered by donors.
The scheme aims to distribute enough doses to vaccinate up to 27 percent of their populations by the end of 2021.
“Thanks to the work of the Government of Yemen and of the COVAX partners, and with the support of our donors, we are now able to protect our most vulnerable populations. Our work is only just beginning but the arrival of the first COVAX Covid-19 doses is a major milestone for Yemen,” Rehan Hafiz, Senior Country Manager Yemen, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, said.