UNICEF Ireland has revealed that people in Clare donated over 15,000 COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s poorest countries at Christmas. The festive surge in donations brings the county’s total donations to UNICEF Ireland’s Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine campaign to 50,000 vaccine deliveries.
UNICEF is leading the procurement and delivery of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines, as part of the global COVAX initiative. This is the only worldwide effort working to ensure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines. Since March, UNICEF has delivered more than one billion vaccine doses to over 140 countries. The international rollout began in March 2021, and continues to gather pace, with UNICEF now delivering an average of 10 million COVID-19 vaccines a day.
Heralding the support of people in Clare, UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power said the issue of fair global access to vaccines had connected with people in Ireland. “It has been a privilege to witness the generosity from people across Ireland. This Christmas we saw donations from every single county, including Clare, and they keep coming. It started out with a simple idea. When you get a vaccine, you can give one to people in some of the world’s poorest countries. The response has been incredible. People in Ireland understand that we are all in this together, and that there should be fair access to these life-saving vaccines. Ireland’s nationwide total for donations to UNICEF is now over three million vaccine deliveries. It is remarkable and we are so grateful,” he said.
According to UNICEF, the global vaccine rollout reached the significant milestone of one billion doses delivered on January 17th, but the UN children’s agency said they would not stop there, with vaccination rates in low income countries still as low as 9%. “UNICEF is proud to be playing such a critical role in this historic achievement. As the largest purchaser and distributor of vaccines in the world for many years, our systems were made for this operation. Before the pandemic, UNICEF procured and delivered over 2 billion vaccines for children throughout the world each year, and we have now doubled that capacity for the COVID-19 response.
“Our efforts mean that millions of healthcare workers and vulnerable people in some of the world’s least developed countries have received the protection they need. However, we all know there are so many more people we need to reach. This is a global effort, and it is not right that in low income countries just 9% of people have received their first dose. Everyone should have access to vaccines, no matter where they live. Our aim for 2022 is to reach 3 billion vaccines. That’s why we asked people in Clare to help us make a difference this Christmas, and why we are now encouraging everyone to stay with us on this historic mission to end the pandemic and ensure everyone, everywhere is vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Mr Power.
UNICEF Ireland is urging people and companies in Clare to continue their support for UNICEF’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign by donating today at www.unicef.ie