EXPLAINER: UN vaccine plan is underway, but problems remain

International

This photograph released by UNICEF Wednesday Feb. 24, 2021 shows the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines distributed by the COVAX Facility arriving at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana. As the coronavirus pandemic exploded worldwide last April, global organizations banded together to help ensure vaccines would be distributed fairly. But the COVAX initiative has been dogged by shortages of cash and supplies as well as logistical hurdles, and only on Wednesday did the first vaccines bought by program arrive in Ghana. (Francis Kokoroko/UNICEF via AP)

(AP) – As the coronavirus pandemic exploded worldwide last April, global organizations banded together to help ensure that the world’s most vulnerable people would get vaccines amid the rush for shots.

Only on Wednesday did the first vaccines bought under the initiative arrive in Ghana.

The COVAX initiative is supposed to make deals to buy vaccines in bulk from drug companies and can also receive donated shots from rich countries.

Poorer nations are then supposed to receive free doses.

But the program formed by the World Health Organization, the vaccines alliance GAVI and a coalition for epidemic innovations called CEPI has been dogged by shortages of cash and supplies as well as logistical hurdles.

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