UNICEF, the UN’s arm for providing humanitarian aid to children, said Monday it will soon stockpile roughly 520 million syringes ahead of the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The buildup is part of a broader push to accumulate 1 billion syringes by 2021 to help with the distribution of a vaccine. That is on top of an additional 620 million syringes UNICEF will distribute as part of other vaccination programs.
“Vaccinating the world against COVID-19 will be one of the largest mass undertakings in human history, and we will need to move as quickly as the vaccines can be produced,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement.
“In order to move fast later, we must move fast now. By the end of the year, we will already have over half a billion syringes pre-positioned where they can be deployed quickly and cost effectively. That’s enough syringes to wrap around the world one and a half times.”
The novel coronavirus has swept across the world since first being detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.
To date, over 40 million people have been confirmed to have the virus, and over 1.1 million people have been killed, according to data from the US-based Johns Hopkins University.
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