UNICEF to stockpile half a billion syringes by year-end to prepare for COVID-19 vaccinations



The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that it would stockpile 520 million syringes in its warehouses to guarantee initial supply, and help ensure the availability of syringes in countries before the COVID-19 vaccines arrive.

UNICEF has begun laying the groundwork for the rapid, safe and efficient delivery of the eventual vaccine by purchasing and pre-positioning syringes and other necessary equipment, the UN agency said on Monday.

It also stated that as soon as COVID-19 vaccines successfully emerge from trials and are licensed and recommended for use, the world will need many syringes.

"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.

Besides syringes, UNICEF is also buying five million safety boxes so that used syringes and needles can be disposed of safely by personnel at health facilities, thus preventing the risk of needle stick injuries and blood-borne diseases.

To make sure that vaccines are transported and stored at the right temperature, the UNICEF, along with WHO, is also mapping out existing cold chain equipment and storage capacity in the private as well as public sector and preparing necessary guidance for countries to receive vaccines.

"We are doing everything we can to deliver these essential supplies efficiently and effectively at the right temperature, as we already do so well all over the world," Fore said. (PTI)

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