Many poorer countries are relying on deliveries from Covax, a scheme led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which is trying to ensure everyone in the world has access to a Covid vaccine.
Covax plans to deliver about two billion vaccine doses globally by the end of the year, but many vaccines require two doses per person.
Which vaccines are in use?
The vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech was the first approved by the WHO, followed by several others.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is now the most widely used around the globe. Unlike Pfizer’s jab – which has to be kept at an extremely cold temperature (-70C) – the Oxford vaccine can be stored in a normal fridge, which makes it easier to distribute.
Most governments are starting with doses for the over-60s, health workers and people who are clinically vulnerable.
In countries such as Israel and the UK, there are already promising signs the vaccines are reducing hospital admissions and deaths, as well as community transmission.
Worldwide, more than 200 vaccine candidates are undergoing trials to test their efficacy and safety.
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