On Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that Libya has missed out on the first round of COVAX vaccines because it did not submit key documents on time.
In a statement, WHO urged the Libyan authorities to consider covering the costs of vaccines for over 570,000 migrants and refugees in the country. This comes after its endorsement of the outgoing Government of National Accord’s (GNA) national deployment and vaccination plan.
It also confirmed that Libya still faced a severe shortage of medical supplies, particularly gloves. It has arranged for additional supplies to be urgently dispatched to the North African nation.
Notably, the GNA has issued a decree authorizing the Ministry of Health to sign bilateral agreements for the direct procurement of vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
COVAX is a global initiative attempting to coordinate international resources to enable the equitable access of COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.
In February, Head of Libya’s ‘Scientific Advisory Committee for Combating Coronavirus’, Khalifa Al-Bakoush announced that the committee had contracted with Johnson & Johnson to supply 500,000 doses of its newly-approved single-shot vaccine.
Al-Bakoush also confirmed that that the Scientific Advisory Committee is continuing its efforts to conclude more agreements with several vaccine manufacturers.