Ireland has donated over one million vaccine doses to the world’s poorest countries, according to Unicef.
Throughout Ireland, people and companies raised over €2.5 million as part of the Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine campaign which invited people who were receiving a vaccine to donate the cost of one to someone else.
The doses will be delivered to healthcare workers and vulnerable people who live in countries that have limited access to vaccines.
Unicef aims to deliver two billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of this year.
Following Ireland’s donation, Unicef Ireland Executive Director Peter Power stated, “We have been simply blown away by the incredible gratitude and solidarity for others that people in Ireland have shown. We have never witnessed anything like it before,”.
“It is astonishing that some countries in the world have vaccination rates of less than 5 per cent, while the wealthiest countries have vaccinated the vast majority of their populations. By supporting this campaign in huge numbers Irish people have recognised that inequity and have taken this tangible expression of solidarity with people who have no access to vaccines.”
The donations went towards helping Unicef store vaccines safely using cold chain equipment. Unicef is delivering the vaccines as part of the worldwide Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) initiative, which aims for equitable access to the Covid-19 vaccine.
To date, Covax has delivered 175 million vaccine doses to 138 countries, but Unicef has stated that more funding is required in order for it to achieve its goals.
Covax has become more reliant on other countries to donate vaccines, as their main supplier ‘Serum Insitute of India’ has been confined to the export restrictions in India, which have been implemented to combat the country’s own surge of Covid-19 cases.