“This is a major milestone in the largest and fastest vaccine delivery in history,” said Seth Berkeley, executive director of the Gavi Vaccine Alliance.
This alliance was established by Kovacs in 2020 with the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (KPI).
Berkeley’s announcement came as a plane landed in Kigali, Rwanda, with the billionth dose distributed by Kovacs on board.
The first dose was distributed in February in Ghana. All countries can order doses through Kovacs, but low-income countries get them for free.
Berkeley added that he knew how much work still needed to be done “to protect everyone and solve vaccine inequality,” stressing that “our work is not done yet.”
He pointed out that about 90 percent of the distributed doses were funded by donations received by the “Gavi” coalition, with a total value of more than 10 billion dollars.
The Kovacs Mechanism had hoped to distribute 2 billion doses by the end of 2021. But competition between rich nations willing to keep doses prevented this goal from being achieved.