Mbabane: The Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini is fast-tracking COVID-19 vaccine roll out plans and soon will publish those plans.
This was revealed by the Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi in an exclusive interview with Independent News. Nkosi said the country signed up for COVAX Facility and they now just one step towards commencing the roll out of the vaccine as there is a final agreement that is about to be signed.
The minister said the government will soon start intensive public education on the different types of vaccines, the one the country will choose and why. Nkosi said this will be done so to let people know what to expect.
In mid-November Nkosi said the Kingdom of Eswatini is part of the COVAX facility and have confirmed participation in this facility. Nkosi said due to the demand of the vaccine, in the beginning the COVAX facility will only be able to provide vaccines to participating member states to cover 20% of the population.
Basically, in July 2020, the Gavi (The Vaccine Alliance) Board approved the establishment of the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (the “COVAX AMC”), a financing mechanism to accelerate and provide COVID-19 vaccines to ensure that low income and lower middle-income economies, as well as other International Development Agency-eligible economies, have access to COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as wealthier economies. Gavi’s COVAX AMC will allow access to COVID-19 vaccines to a total of 92 low- and middle-income countries and economies (AMC92). The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2021.
This initiative by the World Health Organization, vaccine alliance GAVI (run by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), as well as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations aims to, among other things, negotiate prices and ensure equitable vaccine distribution for the 184 countries who have signed up for the facility.