Unicef Ireland has revealed that people in Ireland donated almost one million Covid-19 vaccine deliveries to the world’s poorest countries over Christmas.
The festive surge, which saw 950,000 doses donated, brings total donations from people and companies in Ireland to Unicef Ireland’s Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine campaign to over three million vaccine deliveries.
Unicef is leading the procurement and delivery of vaccines, as part of the global Covax initiative. This is the only worldwide effort working to ensure fair access to Covid-19 vaccines.
Since March, Unicef has delivered more than one billion vaccine doses to over 140 countries. The international rollout began in March 2021, and continues to gather pace, with Unicef now delivering an average of 10 million Covid-19 vaccines a day.
Heralding the support of people in Ireland, Unicef Ireland executive director Peter Power said the issue of fair global access to vaccines had connected with people in Ireland.
“It has been a privilege to witness the generosity from people and companies across Ireland. This Christmas we saw donations from every single county, and they keep coming. It started out with a simple idea. When you get a vaccine, you can give one to people in some of the world’s poorest countries. The response has been incredible. People in Ireland understand that we are all in this together, and that there should be fair access to these life-saving vaccines."
According to Unicef, the global vaccine rollout reached the significant milestone of one billion doses delivered on January 17th, but the UN children’s agency said they would not stop there, with vaccination rates in low income countries still as low as 9 per cent.
“Unicef is proud to be playing such a critical role in this historic achievement. As the largest purchaser and distributor of vaccines in the world for many years, our systems were made for this operation. Before the pandemic, Unicef procured and delivered over two billion vaccines for children throughout the world each year, and we have now doubled that capacity for the Covid-19 response.
“Our efforts mean that millions of healthcare workers and vulnerable people in some of the world’s least developed countries have received the protection they need. However, we all know there are so many more people we need to reach. This is a global effort, and it is not right that in low income countries just 9 per cent of people have received their first dose," said Mr Power.
Unicef Ireland is urging people and companies in Ireland to continue their support for Unicef’s Covid-19 vaccine campaign by donating today at www.unicef.ie.