UNICEF and its partner airlines team up to ensure global vaccine distribution

Apr 10, 2021

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As the world rallies to put an end to the pandemic, UNICEF has launched the most ambitious operation in the humanitarian agency’s history to ensure all low- and lower-income countries have access to COVID-19 vaccines.

TPG has teamed up with UNICEF to help in its humanitarian efforts, too.

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UNICEF has partnered with a number of airlines to deliver at least 2 billion doses of the vaccines to these nations by the end of 2021.

“We will not end the pandemic anywhere unless we end it everywhere,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director general, in a press release by UNICEF.

Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, added: “It is crucial that the vaccines we have developed are shared globally, as a matter of the greatest urgency, to reduce the prevalence of disease, slow down viral mutation, and bring the pandemic to an end.”

Operation #EndThePandemic is the largest immunization project in history. But ensuring the vaccines are distributed not just equitably but safely requires great coordination, and UNICEF’s airline partners have stepped up to make a difference.

Bandaranaike International Airport Emirates SkyCargo. (Photo courtesy of UNICEF)

Emirates SkyCargo donated one of its jets to deliver 600,000 vaccines to Ghana in late February.

Air France-KLM provided one of its planes to deliver 102,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Rwanda. Qatar Airways Cargo has shipped close to 20 million vaccines to 24 countries.

(Photo courtesy of UNICEF)

In addition, UNICEF sent 100,000 syringes and 1,000 safety boxes for COVID-19 vaccinations to the Maldives by air freight. UNICEF expects it will supply up to one billion syringes this year.

The COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, or COVAX,  is a global initiative working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.

For more information on UNICEF’s efforts to help combat the pandemic and how you can help, visit, UNICEFUSA.org.

Featured photo courtesy of UNICEF.

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