Malawi to get donation of 1.5 million Covid vaccine doses  


Malawi will receive about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for free under COVAX global vaccines facility which makes sure developing countries can access coronavirus vaccine.

Today, the Global Vaccines Alliance (GAVI) has announced the first indicative allocation of Covid-19 vaccines through the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility.

Malawi is in the first set of countries to receive vaccines, for which the global roll-out is due to start this month.

According to a statement released today by the Embassy of the United Kingdom, an indicative distribution forecast announced by GAVI shows that Malawi will receive 1,476,000 doses of the AZD1222 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University.

The UK was an early donor to COVAX, and one of the largest, contributing £548million to the Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), which ensures that countries such as Malawi can receive vaccines for free.

The UK is at the forefront of efforts to drive global collaboration and resourcing to develop and deliver new vaccines.

UK High Commissioner David Beer said: “Covid-19 is a global pandemic that needs global cooperation for a solution. No country is safe until the virus is under control everywhere. This is why the UK is proud to stand with Malawi and other countries, so that those who need vaccines can get them. Through COVAX, to which the UK has committed over half a billion pounds, Malawi is due to receive almost one and a half million doses that can protect frontline workers and the most vulnerable, and start to bring the pandemic under control.”

COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, and is a global mechanism that will make sure developing countries can access a coronavirus vaccine.

The Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine which Malawi has settled for will be available through this initiative, subject to Emergency Use Listing being granted.

COVAX has signed an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca for 170 million doses of the candidate developed by Astra Zeneca and Oxford University.

AstraZeneca has announced a licencing agreement for the Serum Institute India (SII) to produce 1 billion doses of the vaccine candidate for low- and middle-income countries. If regulatory approval by WHO is granted, COVAX anticipates that 35-40% of SII doses will be available in the first quarter of the year.

So far, the UK has pledged up to £829 million of UKaid to develop COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests, and their distribution in developing countries. This brings the UK’s total commitment to fight the pandemic worldwide to up to £1.3 billion.