COVAX, a global initiative to ensure rapid and equal access to coronavirus vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level, to which Bosnia and Herzegovina is a signatory, has announced that it has ready arrangements to access nearly two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of 190 participating countries. But not all states will receive the vaccines at the same time, and the first doses are expected in the first half of next year. Countries like the USA, Great Britain and EU countries have already started vaccination, and Serbia will start next week.
COVAX guarantees for most countries access to the first part of vaccine production, followed by the rest of the order depending on production capacity.
- All countries that are part of the COVAX mechanism in the first half of 2021 will have access to vaccines, and the first deliveries are expected to begin by March. The contingent of the order will depend on the regulatory agencies and the readiness of the states for delivery - GAVI announced.
They also explained how the first deliveries of vaccines will go. Namely, the first is planned to be in the first quarter of 2021, and the first tranche of doses will be sufficient to protect health and social workers, while in the first half of next year vaccines will be delivered to all countries that have requested doses within this time frame.
- This would be followed by further delivery of doses to all participants in the second half of the year, with the goal of supplying doses sufficient for up to 20 percent of the population, or a smaller quantity if the participant requests so, by the end of the year. Additional doses to cover a larger population will be available in 2022. All deliveries depend on several factors, such as regulatory approvals and the readiness of the state – it was stressed from GAVI.
Financial support for COVAX will be crucial to ensure that the ability to pay is not a barrier to access to vaccines, the statement said. They have currently raised about two billion, but it is estimated that $ 4.2 billion is needed. The problem is that B&H has not yet paid its share because the FB&H Government did not pay the requested amount on time, while the Republic of Srpska and the Brčko District did. GAVI extended the deadline for payment until December 23rd, and on Friday it was said that the FB&H Government had found a way to pay the required 11.5 million KM and that it would be done within the set deadline.