Tegucigalpa, March 10, 2021 – The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) reports that the PAHO Revolving Fund, the procurement agent in charge of purchasing vaccines for the countries of the Americas through the COVAX Facility, has confirmed the arrival of the first donated batch of 48,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (manufactured by SKBio Korea), to be received on Saturday, March 13.
This first batch is part of the 139,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to be made available in March, as WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom informed the President in a recent letter. The PAHO Revolving Fund is already taking the necessary steps to deliver the 91,200 remaining doses, for a total of 139,200 doses in the coming weeks. These are part of the 424,800 doses allocated by COVAX to be received between March and May.
With the delivery of these first doses of vaccines, COVAX is fulfilling its commitment to ensure that vaccines reach Honduras before the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Access to vaccines through COVAX, at no cost to Honduras, will increase successively until enough doses have been delivered to cover 20% of the population (1,981,000 people).
PAHO/WHO ratifies its commitment to ensuring that Honduras achieves equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and strengthens its efforts alongside the Ministry of Health of Honduras to support the rollout of the vaccination campaign, with the shared vision of first protecting those populations most at risk, while leaving no one behind.
Until population-wide vaccination is possible, basic public health measures remain the cornerstone of response to the pandemic. For public health authorities, this means continuing to conduct screening, case-finding, contact tracing, quarantine, supported isolation, and provision of quality care. For the population, it means continuing to practice physical distancing, hand hygiene, proper mask-wearing, and proper ventilation, while avoiding crowds and gatherings.
COVAX is part of an unprecedented global effort to provide vaccines to at least 20% of the population of each participating country during 2021, to protect those most at risk of severe COVID-19 and save lives. In the Americas, 36 countries will receive vaccines through the COVAX Facility. Twenty-six of them will purchase vaccines with their own funds and 10 will receive vaccines at no cost.
The PAHO Revolving Fund is the procurement agent recognized by COVAX to purchase vaccines on behalf of the countries of the Region.
COVAX is co-chaired by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance), WHO, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and works in partnership with the United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF), the PAHO Revolving Fund, as well as the World Bank, civil society organizations, manufacturers, and others.