The global Covax scheme, which ships Covid-19 vaccines to low-income countries, has delivered one billion jabs as of today.
The UN-backed programme has been knocked by disrupted supply chains and “catastrophic outbreaks” locking up supply, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Vaccine stockpiling and “hoarding” in wealthier countries has also hindered its progress, the WHO added, with the milestone being “a reminder of the work that remains”.
“And a lack of sharing of licences, technology and know-how by pharmaceutical companies meant manufacturing capacity went unused,” the WHO added.
The programme has distributed doses to 144 countries so far, though 194 nations are members of the scheme.
The UK has pledged 100m vaccines to the programme, and has delivered between 20m and 30.6m so far, according to the government’s own figures.
However, statistics from Our World in Data and UNICEF suggest that between 8m and 16m UK-donated doses have been delivered to recipient countries – with almost 20m still in transit as of last month.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said in June: “80 per cent of the 100m doses will go to Covax and the remainder will be shared bilaterally with countries in need.”
The Philippines has received the most UK-donated doses, followed by Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya and Pakistan.