Irish public donate 1 million COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s poorest countries

12th August 2021

 

Irish public donate 1 million COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s poorest countries

 

UNICEF sees an unprecedented response to its Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine campaign in Ireland

 

UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power is available for interview

DUBLIN, 12 August 2021 – Today UNICEF has announced that people and companies in Ireland have so far donated over one million COVID-19 vaccines to people in some of the world’s poorest countries. Thanks to support from the Irish public for UNICEF’s ongoing Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine campaign, one million life-saving COVID-19 doses will now be delivered to healthcare workers and vulnerable people in countries with little or no access to vaccines.

Only weeks after its official launch, UNICEF says its Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine campaign has now raised over €2.5 million from individuals and companies in Ireland. The campaign invites people getting vaccinated in Ireland to give a vaccine to someone in need, by supporting UNICEF’s role in the historic global effort to ensure fair and safe access to COVID-19 vaccines. UNICEF has developed the largest vaccination cold chain in the world for childhood immunisation and is now using this to deliver COVID-19 vaccines. UNICEF says this critical worldwide effort aims to support the delivery of two billion COVID-19 vaccine doses this year alone.

UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power said UNICEF has been inspired by the response from individuals and companies across Ireland. “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. We all know that nobody is safe until everyone is safe, and that no child is safe, until everyone they rely on is safe. That is why UNICEF is putting everything we have got into delivering COVID-19 vaccines to the most vulnerable families, health workers and high-risk people on our planet.

“It is astonishing that some countries in the world have vaccination rates of less than 5%, 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.”

For people in Ireland, rapidly improving vaccination rates are protecting lives and helping society to open up. However, globally deadly new variants continue to emerge, threatening everyone, and cases are surging in many countries with low vaccination coverage. UNICEF says its Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine campaign offers people in Ireland the opportunity to stand with people around the world in the fight against COVID-19.

“This is the most critical mission in the world right now, and we simply could not do this without the incredible generosity of people and companies in Ireland. Donations to the campaign help ensure that vaccines get to the most remote and isolated places in the world. Every donation helps us store vaccines safely using secure cold chain equipment. They mean more health workers are vaccinated and protected against COVID-19 and that vulnerable families and children receive the life-saving care they need to survive.

“The simplicity of the Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine message has won support from people up and down the country, as well as companies and philanthropists. Ever since we put out the call for support, we have been overwhelmed with the response – and its continuing day after day. We are just so thankful, because we are really only starting out in our mission to support the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations,” said Mr Power.

The support in Ireland for the campaign is helping UNICEF to lead the largest-ever vaccine procurement and supply operation as part of the global COVAX Facility. UNICEF was asked to join COVAX by partners WHO, Gavi The Vaccine Alliance, and CEPI in 2020, due to its expertise in procuring half the world’s vaccines for children under 5 every year.

The scale of the effort is enormous and COVAX has already delivered over 175 million doses to 138 countries, since March this year. However, UNICEF says more funding is needed to achieve its historic mission.

After GAVI, the WHO or countries have paid for the vaccine doses themselves, €4.48 allows UNICEF to deliver two doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the point of arrival in country to the individual, in countries facing humanitarian crisis. And UNICEF is asking people in Ireland to continue supporting the historic Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine campaign and to help end the pandemic by donating today at www.unicef.ie/get

ENDS

Notes to the editor:

UNICEF Ireland’s Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine campaign

UNICEF Ireland’s Get a Vaccine – Give a Vaccine campaign offers people in Ireland an opportunity to come together in support of global vaccine equity – taking part is an act of solidarity. UNICEF is leading the largest-ever vaccine procurement and supply operation on behalf of the COVAX Facility, a global effort led by ACT-A partners Gavi, WHO and CEPI to aid equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, targeting 92 low and middle-income countries, amongst 190 members

About COVAX  

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.

ABOUT UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.ie

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For more information, please contact:

Danny Smits, UNICEF Ireland, +353 87 1308070, danny@unicef.ie