• Vacuna Mecanismos COVAX

Nicaragua receives its first COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility

16 Mar 2021

Managua, Nicaragua, 16 March 2021 (PAHO/WHO).- Nicaragua today received 135,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility, a global effort involving the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

This arrival marks a historic step toward the goal of guaranteeing equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history. Today’s delivery is the first for Nicaragua, and subsequent shipments are expected over the course of 2021. By the end of May, the total of doses is expected to reach 432,000, according to the first round of COVAX allocations for Nicaragua.

The PAHO Revolving Fund, which is responsible for procuring COVID-19 vaccines for the countries of the Americas under the COVAX Facility, shipped these 135,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, made by the Serum Institute of India (SII), from Mumbai. The vaccines arrived at Augusto César Sandino International Airport.

“The arrival of these vaccines represents a historic moment for Nicaragua’s Expanded Program on Immunization, which has a long history of achievements and international recognition. We are full of joy and hope,” said Ana Treasure, Representative of PAHO in Nicaragua. “Today, the Pan American Health Organization, on behalf of the COVAX Facility, has delivered 135,000 of the 432,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, from the Serum Institute of India, allocated to Nicaragua for this semester.” She added, “These vaccines will support national efforts to prevent hospitalizations and death; they will save lives, ease the pressure on health systems, and help to promote the country’s economic recovery.”

Nicaragua is one of the 10 countries in the Region of the Americas, and one of 92 in the world, that will receive donations of COVID-19 vaccines for at least 20% of their populations. As a participant in the COVAX Facility, Nicaragua is part of the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history, supporting equitable access to vaccines worldwide.

Ms. Treasure thanked CEPI, Gavi, and UNICEF, as well as all the donors, for their “monumental work”.  

In the Americas, the PAHO Revolving Fund is the procurement agent recognized by the COVAX Facility for countries of the Region.

Until vaccination is widespread in the population, basic public health measures will remain the cornerstone of pandemic response. For the public health authorities, this means continued diagnostic testing, contact tracing, isolation, assisted quarantine, and quality care. For individuals, it means continuing to practice social distancing, hand hygiene, use of masks, ventilation of closed spaces, and crowd avoidance.

PAHO has also supported Nicaragua as it prepares its vaccine roll-out, providing recommendations, guidance, and training. “We reaffirm to the people and authorities of Nicaragua the commitment of the Pan American Health Organization to continue supporting your entire public health agenda, including the fight against COVID-19,” said Ms. Treasure.

The Minster of Health, Martha Reyes, expressed her thanks for this first delivery of vaccines through the COVAX Facility.

“Led by CEPI, GAVI, WHO, and UNICEF, the COVAX Facility was established to ensure that all countries have access to vaccines, regardless of their economic capacity,” said Antero Almeida de Pina, Representative of UNICEF Nicaragua. “We will continue to work with the government to support its vaccination plan, to ensure that the most vulnerable people have access to immunization and to halt the pandemic.”

In 2021, COVAX aims to provide vaccines for at least 20% of the population in each participating country worldwide. During this first round of vaccine allocation, all COVAX participating countries will receive enough doses to vaccinate between 2.2% and 2.6% of their populations. The only exceptions are Small Island Developing States, which due to their size will receive doses for between 16% and 20% of their population, due to the high logistical cost of delivering small shipments of vaccines.
Until vaccination is widespread in the population, basic public health measures will remain the cornerstone of pandemic response. This means continued diagnostic testing, contact tracing, isolation, assisted quarantine, and quality care. Moreover, it is essential to keep on practicing hand hygiene, social distancing, use of masks, ventilation of closed spaces, and crowd avoidance.

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by CEPI, Gavi, and WHO, working in association with UNICEF as a key partner, as well as civil society organizations, vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, and others.

In the Americas, the PAHO Revolving Fund is the procurement agent recognized by the COVAX Facility for countries of the Region.