Besides WHO, the co-leads of the initiative are The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi the Vaccine Alliance.
"Yesterday’s announcement means that two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, produced by AstraZeneca-SK Bioscience (AZ-SKBio) and the Serum Institute of India (AZ-SII), are now available for global rollout through the COVAX Facility," said the co-leads in a joint press release on Tuesday.
In preparation for this unprecedented global rollout, COVAX partners have been working closely with all participants for many months.
Due the high number of doses available as well as the high number of countries getting ready for delivery in the first quarter 2021, the capacity of supplier and freight forwarders will be under considerable pressure.
Based on this, COVAX anticipates the bulk of the first round of deliveries taking place in March, with some early shipments to those that have already fulfilled the above criteria, occurring in late February.