US Officials deliver COVID-19 vaccines to Ghana as part of the COVAX program in 2021. Ghana was the first recipient of vaccines through COVAX.

COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines directed by the GAVI vaccine alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the World Health Organization (WHO). It is one of the three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, an initiative begun in April 2020 by the WHO, the European Commission, and the government of France as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVAX coordinates international resources to enable low-to-middle-income countries equitable access to COVID-19 tests, therapies, and vaccines.[1] UNICEF is the key delivery partner, leveraging its experience as the largest single vaccine buyer in the world and working on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well logistics, country readiness and in-country delivery.

By 19 October 2020, 184 countries had joined COVAX.[2]

COVAX began distributing vaccines in February 2021. Though COVAX promised 100 million doses by the end of March,[3][4] this goal was not reached until 6 July.[5] By mid-August of 2021, COVAX delivered 200 million vaccine doses to nearly 140 countries instead of the 600 million doses initially projected. The continued shortage of COVID-19 vaccines delivered through COVAX is blamed on "vaccine nationalism" by richer nations, and the diversion of 400 million Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine doses, produced under license by the Serum Institute of India (SII), for domestic use in India.[6]

Vaccine candidates

As of 23 December 2021, the WHO has approved Oxford–AstraZeneca, Pfizer–BioNTech, Moderna, Sinopharm BIBP, CoronaVac, Janssen, Covaxin, and Novavax vaccines for emergency use.[7][8][9] These vaccines can be distributed as part of COVAX.[10][11]

Many of the countries that will benefit from COVAX have "limited regulatory capacity" and depend on WHO's authorisations. By early 2021, WHO was reviewing 11 potential COVID-19 vaccines for its Emergency Use Listing (EUL).[12] The first vaccine WHO authorised for its EUL on 31 December 2020 was the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine—an RNA vaccine developed by the German company BioNTech in cooperation with the American company Pfizer sold under the brand name Comirnaty.[13][14][15]

The WHO stated in a press release on 24 August 2020 that COVAX had nine CEPI-supported vaccine candidates and nine candidates undergoing trials, giving it the largest selection of COVID-19 vaccinations in the world.[16] By December 2020, COVAX had finalized negotiations with other manufacturers that gave it access to two billion vaccine doses.[17]

Distribution (recipients)

Involvement by country
  •   AMC donor
  •   Member of the European Union (AMC donor)
  •   Self-financing participant
  •   Self-financing participant and AMC donor
  •   AMC recipient
  •   AMC recipient and donor
  •   Not involved
Donations of Moderna vaccines from the United States are unloaded in Bhutan in 2021

COVAX provides vaccines to the developing world.[18] A total of 92 low- and middle-income countries are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX mechanism[19] through the COVAX Vaccines Advance Market Commitment (AMC) financing instrument.[19][20] COVAX AMC is funded by donor contributions.[20] COVAX AMC funds the COVAX Facility, the vaccine procurement platform.[20]

On 3 February 2021, GAVI, the WHO, and UNICEF published the country-by-country distribution of the Pfizer–BioNTech and Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccines forecast for first half of 2021.[21] The early projection includes 336 million doses of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine as well as 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine to the 145 COVAX facility participants.[22][23] It is expected that health care workers and the most vulnerable will receive the first doses, which are anticipated to reach approximately 3.3% of the total population of each participating country by the end of the first half of 2021.[23]

In February 2021, the WHO and Chubb Limited announced the roll out of a no-fault compensation scheme for COVID-19 vaccinations for low and middle-income countries which would be financed initially through Gavi COVAX AMC donor funding.[24]

On 24 February 2021, Ghana became the first country in the world to receive vaccines through COVAX when 600,000 doses of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine were delivered to Accra.[18][25] On 2 March, COVID-19 vaccines were being distributed in Ghana by Zipline drones.[26] This method allows reaching remote areas (which are underserved by traditional logistics).[27]

On 1 March 2021, frontline workers and public officials from the Ivory Coast became the first persons to be inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines shipped from the COVAX Facility. More than 500,000 doses of the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India were shipped to the city of Abidjan the week before. The vaccines were flown in by UNICEF from Mumbai.[28]

On 5 March 2021, Moldova received 14,400 Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine units through COVAX, becoming the first European country to do so. The country had already been donated 21,600 doses of the same vaccine by Romania some days earlier.[29]

On 25 March 2021, Bosnia and Herzegovina received 24,300 Pfizer–BioNTech and 26,400 Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine units through COVAX, becoming the second European country to do so.[30] The country had already been, in total, donated over 20,000 doses of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine by Serbia and Slovenia some weeks earlier.[31][32]

On 8 June 2021, Uruguay released health data from their vaccination efforts through the COVAX program. Almost 800,000 individuals or 52% of the adult population received two doses of the Coronavac or Pfizer vaccines. The government also studied the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine among 162,047 health workers and people over 80 years old. Both vaccine types reduced hospitalisations and deaths by over 90%, and infection rates by more than 60%. Because of accessible healthcare and available COVAX vaccine supplies, the small Latin nation was able to ward off a serious COVID-19 spike in May 2021.[33]

On 1 August 2021, the Venezuelan government announced it will receive 6.2 million doses of coronavirus vaccines through the COVAX initiative. Part of the payment to the GAVI alliance was first blocked due to economic sanctions. Venezuela is a self-financing participant of COVAX. According to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), Venezuela will receive China's Sinopharm BIBP vaccine and CoronaVac. The country previously obtained the AstraZeneca vaccine through the program, but Venezuelan health officials did not approve the product for domestic use.[34]

Interim Distribution Forecast as of 3 February 2021 (doses)[23]
AMC: Advance Market Commitment; SFP: Self-Financing Participants
SK Bioscience
 Congo, Dem. Rep.AMC6,948,000--6,948,000
 South AfricaSFP-2,976,000117,0003,093,000
 South KoreaSFP-2,596,800117,0002,713,800
 Cote d'IvoireAMC2,040,000--2,040,000
 North KoreaAMC1,992,000--1,992,000
 Saudi ArabiaSFP-1,747,200-1,747,200
 Sri LankaAMC1,692,000--1,692,000
 Burkina FasoAMC1,620,000--1,620,000
Non-UN Member StatesN/A-1,303,200-1,303,200
 Syrian Arab RepublicAMC1,020,000--1,020,000
 South SudanAMC864,000--864,000
 Papua New GuineaAMC684,000--684,000
 Sierra LeoneAMC612,000--612,000
 Dominican RepublicSFP-542,400-542,400
 Kyrgyz RepublicAMC504,000--504,000
 Congo, Rep.AMC420,000--420,000
 El SalvadorAMC-324,00051,480375,480
 Central African RepublicAMC372,000--372,000
 Costa RicaSFP-254,400-254,400
 New ZealandSFP-249,600-249,600
 Gambia, TheAMC180,000--180,000
 Bosnia and HerzegovinaSFP-153,60023,400177,000
 Cabo VerdeAMC108,000-5,850113,850
 Solomon IslandsAMC108,000--108,000
 North MacedoniaSFP-103,200-103,200
 Brunei DarussalamSFP-100,800-100,800
 Trinidad and TobagoSFP-100,800-100,800
 Sao Tome and PrincipeAMC96,000--96,000
 St. LuciaAMC-74,400-74,400
 Micronesia, Fed. Sts.AMC-48,000-48,000
 St. Vincent and the GrenadinesAMC-45,600-45,600
 Antigua and BarbudaSFP-40,800-40,800
 Marshall IslandsAMC-24,000-24,000
 St. Kitts and NevisSFP-21,600-21,600

Participants (donors)

COVAX is principally funded by Western countries.[18] As of 19 February 2021, 30 countries have signed commitment agreements to the COVAX Facility as well as the European Union (apart from the individual member states). Although more than $6 billion was pledged, not all of the funding has been delivered yet. In April, the initiative wrote that it had not yet received its target of $3.2 billion for 2021.[35]

Although mainly funded by governments ("Official Development Assistance"), the COVAX scheme is also funded by private-sector and philanthropic contributions, and recipient countries may share some costs for vaccines and delivery.[20]

In May 2021, UNICEF made an urgent appeal to industrialised nations to pool their excess COVID-19 vaccine capacity to make up for a 125-million-dose gap in the COVAX program. Only a limited amount of vaccines are distributed efficiently, and the shortfall of vaccines in South America and parts of Asia are due to a lack of expedient donations by richer nations. International organisations have pointed at Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Maldives as well as Argentina and Brazil, and some parts of the Caribbean as problem areas, where vaccines are in short supply. UNICEF has also been critical towards proposed donations of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines since these are not slated for delivery until the second half of 2021, or early 2022.[36]

COVAX-AMC donors as of 5 August 2021[37]

(million USD)
 United States3,500
 United Kingdom733
European Union European Commission489
 South Korea210
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation206
 Saudi Arabia150
Anonymous Swiss Foundation40

embed Mastercard

Reed Hastings and Patty Quillin30
KSRelief / Gamers Without Borders26
MTN Group25
Gates Philanthropy Partners18
 New Zealand12
WHO Foundation-Go Give One Campaign6
Procter & Gamble5
Visa Foundation5
Soccer Aid4
Thistledown Foundation4
Analog Devices Foundation3
Anonymous Donor2
Asia Philanthropy Circle2
UBS Optimus Foundation2
Vaccine Forward Initiative2
Portuguese Private Sector1.8
Basque Government1

embed Coca-Cola Foundation

Seadream Family Foundation1
Stanley Black & Decker1
Toyota Tsusho1


Canada pledged $220 million worth of vaccines on 25 September 2020 to join as a self-financing contributor to COVAX. On 14 June, Canada doubled its pledge to add an additional 13 million doses of AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and NovaVax vaccines. This was in addition to the over 80 million available to purchase through financial contribution.


China joined COVAX on 9 October 2020.[38] The Sinopharm BIBP vaccine and CoronaVac (by Sinovac Biotech) are Chinese-developed vaccines approved by the WHO for distribution through COVAX.[39] By July 2021, GAVI had signed advanced purchase agreements for 170 million doses of the Sinopharm BIBP vaccine, 350 million doses of CoronaVac, and 414 million doses of SCB-2019, another vaccine in Phase III trials.[40][41] On Aug. 8, 2021, China pledges US$ 100 million towards equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for lower-income countries, brings the total raised for the Covax to nearly US$ 10 billion [42] Further, China's Leader Xi Jinping pledges 2 billion vaccines globally through year’s end. According to AP News, China has already delivered 770 million doses to foreign countries since September 2020 (as of Aug 6, 2021) [43]


India joined COVAX through a membership with the GAVI alliance.[44] The Serum Institute of India is the main producer for the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine, up to 700 million doses were expected for 2021. After initial deliveries to North Africa, West Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East in March and April 2021, India began to limit vaccine exports until the end of 2021, due to high domestic demand.[45][46][47] Based on the high infection rates in India, COVAX was projected to deliver only 145 million doses instead of 240 million by May 2021. Vaccine production was also negatively affected because of a ban by the U.S. on the export of key raw materials.[48] In September 2021, the Government of India announced the resumption of vaccines exports from October 2021 onwards since it had quadrupled its production and only excess supplies would be exported.[49]

European Union

As of November 2020, the European Union (EU) and EU members have pledged €870 million to COVAX.[50] The European Commission (EC) brought the EU into COVAX on 31 August 2020 and pledged €400 million in guarantees,[51] but did not state how this money would be paid out or its conditions.[52] The EC pledged a further €100 million from the 11th European Development Fund to COVAX via a grant to GAVI on 12 November. Individual EU member states have also made additional pledges; France donated an additional €100 million, Spain an additional €50 million, and Finland an additional €2 million.[50]

According to the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, Germany has joined COVAX through the European Union and has pledged €300 million for the treatment of COVID-19 in developing nations bringing the total EU contribution to over €2.2 billion.[53]

On the consilium site, Team Europe reported a €2.47 billion donation.[54]

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has provided £548 million to Covax.[55] The United Kingdom was the biggest single donor to COVAX-AMC until being overtaken by the European Union and the United States.[56]

United States

Vaccines donated by the United States are transported in Ecuador in 2021

As part of its America First policy,[57] the Trump administration stated that it would not join COVAX because of its association with the WHO,[58][59] from which it had begun a year-long withdrawal process on 6 July 2020.[60]

After Joe Biden was elected president in the 2020 election, he announced that the United States would remain in the WHO and would join COVAX on 20 January 2021. This reversal of American policy (announced by Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President) was welcomed globally.[61][62] On 19 February, the US pledged $4 billion, making it the single largest contributor to the fund.[63]

On 16 July 2021, the African Union (AU)/African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), COVAX and the United States government announced the donation of 25 million Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to 49 African countries. Afreximbank put in place a US$2 billion Advance Procurement Commitment (APC) Guarantee to obtain 400 million more doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, providing a total of 620 million doses to Africa by the end of 2021. The vaccines will be in part sourced from licensed production in South Africa,[64] and distributed by COVAX with the goal to vaccinate 60% of the population.[65]

United Arab Emirates

Since the UAE started producing Hayat-Vax in late March 2021, a rebranded version of the Chinese Sinopharm BIBP vaccine through a joint venture between Sinopharm and Group 42, the country has donated vaccine doses to several African countries.[66][67][68]

Private donors

It is possible for private donors to donate to COVAX through the "Go Give One" campaign. The WHO estimates the campaign's cost-effectiveness at one vaccine dose per US$7 donated.[69]

See also


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  6. ^ Paun, Carmen (5 August 2021). "Gavi on the defensive over vaccine-equity effort" Retrieved 5 August 2021.
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Flag of Sao Tome and Principe.svg
Flag of São Tomé and Príncipe
Flag of Montenegro.svg
Flag of the Republic of Montenegro (adopted on 13 July 2004) - RGB colours, official 1:2 dimensions and construction details based partly on the templates: Flag (Government of Montenegro) and Coat of arms (Government of Montenegro).
Flag of Tonga.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC0
Flag of Dominica.svg
Author/Creator: See File history below for details., Licence: CC0
The Flag of Dominica.
Flag of Nauru.svg
The national flag of Nauru. Official Pantone colours are: PMS 280 blue, PMS 123 yellow.
Flag of Tuvalu.svg
Author/Creator: Nightstallion (original)
Zscout370 (most recent), Licence: CC0
Flag of Tuvalu.

FIAV 111111.svg
Flag of the United States.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Flag of Germany.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Flag of Japan.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Flag of the United Kingdom, Union Jack or Union Flag in a 1:2 ratio (typical on British warships and also the rank flag of an admiral of the fleet).
Flag of Europe.svg
The Flag of Europe is the flag and emblem of the European Union (EU) and Council of Europe (CoE). It consists of a circle of 12 golden (yellow) stars on a blue background. It was created in 1955 by the CoE and adopted by the EU, then the European Communities, in the 1980s.

The CoE and EU are distinct in membership and nature. The CoE is a 47-member international organisation dealing with human rights and rule of law, while the EU is a quasi-federal union of 27 states focused on economic integration and political cooperation. Today, the flag is mostly associated with the latter.

It was the intention of the CoE that the flag should come to represent Europe as a whole, and since its adoption the membership of the CoE covers nearly the entire continent. This is why the EU adopted the same flag. The flag has been used to represent Europe in sporting events and as a pro-democracy banner outside the Union.
Flag of Italy.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Flag of Sweden.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Flag of Norway.svg
Flag of Norway. The colors approximately correspond to Pantone 200 C (deep red) and 281 C (dark blue).
Flag of Spain.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Flag of Australia (converted).svg

Flag of Australia, when congruence with this colour chart is required (i.e. when a "less bright" version is needed).

See Flag of Australia.svg for main file information.
Flag of Iceland.svg
The Flag of Iceland.
  • Horizontal aspect ratio: 7:1:2:1:14;
  • Vertical aspect ratio: 7:1:2:1:7.
Flag of Austria.svg
Flag of Austria with the red in the Austrian national colours which was official ordered within the Austrian Armed Forces (Bundesheer) in the characteristic “Pantone 032 C” (since May 2018 the Red is ordered in the characteristic “Pantone 186 C”.)
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg
The civil ensign and flag of Belgium. It is identical to Image:Flag of Belgium.svg except that it has a 2:3 ratio, instead of 13:15.
Flag of Ireland.svg
Note that the green portion of the flag was designed to represent the majority Catholic residents of the island, the orange side the minority Protestant and the white middle part peace and harmony between them.
Flag of Greece.svg
Flag of Greece (since 1978) and Naval Ensign of Greece (since 1828)
Flag of Croatia.svg
It is easy to put a border around this flag image
Flag of Portugal.svg
Flag of Portugal, created by Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro (1857-1929), officially adopted by Portuguese government in June 30th 1911 (in use since about November 1910). Color shades matching the RGB values officially reccomended here. (PMS values should be used for direct ink or textile; CMYK for 4-color offset printing on paper; this is an image for screen display, RGB should be used.)
The United States Delivers COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to Ghana (51704049970).jpg
The United States delivers over 1.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Ghana on November 23, 2021. [U.S. government photo/ Public Domain]
Mastercard 2019 logo.svg
Mastercard logo used since January 7, 2019.
The United States Delivers COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to Bhutan (51307679170).png
The United States delivers 500,000 Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses to Bhutan on July 12, 2021. [Photo courtesy of Kuensel]
The United States Delivers COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to Ecuador (51296988809).jpg
The United States delivers two million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses to Ecuador on July 1, 2021. [U.S. government photo/ Public Domain]
Coca-Cola logo.svg
Wordmark of Coca-Cola, trademarked by The Coca-Cola Company, but because the logo is simply "Coca-Cola", there is no proof as to who originally wrote it. Master Penman Louis Madarasz (1859-1910) was said to have told one of his students that the work was his own. When the work was created, Madarasz had a mail order business, could have illustrated the logo, and the writing style is similar to his. In the book "An Elegant Hand" by William E Henning, it states that Frank Mason Robinson, who was the bookkeeper of the firm, originated the name Coca-Cola and specified that it be written in Spencerian Script. In a 1914 court case, Robinson testified that he was "practically the originator" and that "some engraver here by the name of Frank Ridge was brought into it". Thus the logo itself has no currently copyrightable authorship and its exact creator is unknown. In any case, the trademarked Coca-Cola logo was published numerous times in the United States (its country of origin) before 1923, and so is now ineligible for copyright.