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WHO Welcomes Sweden’s Announcement to Share COVID-19 Vaccine Doses with COVAX

Sweden has announced a donation of 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to COVAX in order to support supplies in low-income countries and ensure populations are able to receive second doses.

WHO and its partners are advocating for countries to make similar contributions, and Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the announcement, stating that “Sweden’s announcement that it will share 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with COVAX is a superb gesture that must be replicated urgently, and repeatedly, by governments around the world to accelerate the equitable rollout of vaccines globally.” He added that
“Such support will ensure that people in vulnerable countries, especially, in Africa, will be able to receive their second doses through the COVAX initiative. Sweden’s generous support is very timely as it comes at a time when the world needs it most.”

Increased demand for vaccines in India – where COVAX’s main supplier of the AstraZeneca vaccine is located – have caused interruptions in supply, resulting in COVAX’s urgent need for 20 million doses in the second quarter of 2021. Countries like New Zealand and France have also recently made commitments similar to Sweden’s.

(Source: World Health Organization, 2021)