UNICEF leads the coronavirus vaccine rollout around the world

UNICEF is tasked by GAVI, the global vaccine alliance, with ensuring that up to 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses can be fairly distributed in 2021 as part of COVAX, the largest and fastest immunization campaign in world history. Why UNICEF? Because even before COVID-19, UNICEF helped immunize almost half the world’s children, surmounting nearly impossible logistics challenges and braving the roughest of terrains. UNICEF is the only organization with the infrastructure, expertise and buying power to spearhead this enormous undertaking.

Watch how UNICEF is making sure no one is left out:

Equitable vaccine distribution is only fair, and it’s in everyone’s interest. No one is safe until everyone is safe. It’s also critical to UNICEF’s ability to reverse the damage COVID-19 has done to children. The number of people living in extreme poverty is rising for the first time in nearly 25 years. Eighty million kids missed routine vaccinations between March and December 2020. Over a billion were forced out of school. And 6.7 million more children under 5 are threatened with wasting because COVID-19 has put nutritious food out of their reach.

“As we begin to imagine a day when COVID-19 is behind us,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, “our guiding principle must be that the light at the end of the tunnel needs to shine for all."

But it will take more than a vaccine to end the pandemic. UNICEF is also aiding the development of rapid diagnostics and treatments and helping countries strengthen their health systems. UNICEF has appealed for $659 million to finance its global response. The funding needs to address COVID-19 and help with COVAX are critical. Here is what donations could provide:

  • $150 — 3,000 syringes
  • $210 — 10 portable vaccine carriers
  • $50 — 160 face masks
  • $100 — 10 diagnostic test kits
  • $20 — 100 bars of soap

COVID-19 has set back progress for children by decades. The future of a generation is at stake. That’s why UNICEF has never stopped working to provide the essentials kids need for their health and well-being.

How you can help

Vaccinating the world, country by country

The campaign to end the pandemic is one of the most important moments in UNICEF’s 75-year history. Here is a look at just some of the countries where vaccines are reaching those who need them.


On February 24, Ghana became the first country to receive a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX, beginning what promises to be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history. Read more

Côte d'Ivoire

The arrival of 504,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Côte d'Ivoire on February 26 sparks hope in a country where the most vulnerable households have borne the brunt of the pandemic's severe economic toll. Read more


Delivery of nearly 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Africa’s most populous nation was just the beginning of UNICEF’s mission to end the pandemic that has devastated Nigeria's already weak service infrastructure. Read more

UNICEF is leading on global COVID-19 vaccine procurement and distribution, helping to ensure delivery of 2 billion vaccine doses  — including 1.2 billion doses to low- and lower-middle-income countries — in 2021. Learn more