The cargo is a part of “the first wave” of syringes and security containers organised by the company, which over the following few weeks, plans to dispatch greater than 14.5 million single-use needles to greater than 30 international locations, together with Côte d’Ivoire and São Tomé and Principe.
These embody the 0.5 millilitre syringes that are meant to be used with the AstraZeneca vaccine, whereas the 0.three millilitre model is for the Pfizer-BioNTech shot.
One billion jabs
In complete, UNICEF goals to produce as much as one billion syringes and 10 million security containers to international locations in 2021, forward of the broader rollout of recent coronavirus vaccines in 82 low and low-to-middle revenue international locations.
“In this global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, syringes are as vital as the vaccine itself,” mentioned UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
“It is critical to have adequate supplies of syringes already in place in every country before the vaccine arrives so that the vaccine can be administered safely. This would allow immunization to start immediately and help turn the tide on this terrible virus.”
Oxygen scarcity hits 500,000
In an additional replace on lifesaving coronavirus provides, the UN is warning that COVID-19 has left greater than half 1,000,000 folks world wide with out sufficient oxygen canisters to assist them breathe extra simply whereas preventing the an infection.
According to the UN-launched worldwide drug buying facility, UNITAID, demand in low and middle-income international locations has spiked due to the virus – though the issue pre-dates the coronavirus due to value and logistical limitations.
To reply to the emergency, a COVID-19 Oxygen Emergency Taskforce has been launched to produce oxygen in as much as 20 international locations, together with Malawi, Nigeria and Afghanistan.
It’s a part of the UN and partner-led COVAX initiative to guard folks from COVID-19 worldwide and it wants $1.6 billion in funding over the following 12 months.
UNITAID spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel, mentioned that for the reason that begin of the pandemic almost a 12 months in the past, reasonably priced and sustainable entry to oxygen has been a rising problem, in low and center revenue international locations, “while COVID-19 has put huge pressure on health systems, with hospitals in many low and middle-income countries running out of oxygen, resulting in preventable deaths.”
Mr. Verhoosel mentioned that 1.1 million cylinders of oxygen are wanted each day, whereas 25 international locations have reported surging demand, nearly all of that are in Africa.
© UNICEF/Charles Asamoah
Call to clean entry for vaccine distribution
The UN civil aviation group ICAO, and the World Customs Organization (WCO), printed a joint statement on Tuesday, calling on governments to show “maximum flexibility with respect to border clearance” and the air transport provide chain operations that are important to the efficient distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and associated medical provides.
The two companies have additionally developed new pointers to assist international locations obtain higher alignment of their customs and safety procedures.
Signed by ICAO Secretary General, Fang Liu and WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, the joint assertion on vaccines urges the speedy institution of the infrastructure wanted to help end-to-end vaccine storage and logistics for public provides.
Improved open collaboration between aviation and customs authorities and partnering organizations, can be strongly emphasised within the assertion. The companies are additionally encouraging international locations to designate required aviation workers as “key workers” offering a necessary service, in alignment with the WHO’s Roadmap for Prioritizing Uses of COVID-19 Vaccines.