By testing procedures, simulation exercises help prepare countries for successful vaccine roll-outs.

Rajwantee Lutchman, a registered nurse, practices the steps to administer COVID-19 vaccine during a simulation exercise at the Siparia District Health Facility on 6 March 2021. © WHO/ Kibwe Brathwaite

Trinidad and Tobago received 33 600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility on 30 March 2021, and more vaccines are expected to arrive in the coming months.

COVAX is a global effort to accelerate equitable access to vaccines and ensure that they reach all those who need to receive them. In order to be eligible to receive vaccines via COVAX, countries must demonstrate that they are ready to use them.


Everyone, everywhere can do their part in helping to vaccinate the world and end the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spray Eshaghzay draws vaccine from a vial at a WHO-supported COVID-19 vaccinators’ training session at the office of the Agency for Assistance and Development of Afghanistan (AADA) in Herat, Afghanistan. © WHO / Andrew Quilty

Vaccines are a critical tool in the battle against COVID-19, but a gap is growing between countries who can afford them and those that can’t. We can all be part of the solution with an international initiative called COVAX. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to buy COVID-19 vaccines for the world, starting with those who need them the most.


This article is part of a series of explainers on vaccine development and distribution. Learn more about vaccines — from how they work and how they’re made to ensuring safety and equitable access — in WHO’s Vaccines Explained series.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and getting vaccinated will help protect you against developing severe COVID-19 disease and dying from COVID-19. You may experience some mild side effects after getting vaccinated, which are signs that your body is building protection.

Why it’s normal to have mild side effects from vaccines

Vaccines are designed to give you immunity without the dangers of getting the disease. It’s common to experience some mild-to-moderate side effects


This article is part of a series of explainers on vaccine development and distribution. Learn more about vaccines — from how they work and how they’re made to ensuring safety and equitable access — in WHO’s Vaccines Explained series.

Countries around the world are rolling out COVID-19 vaccines, and a key topic of interest is their safety. Vaccine safety is one of WHO’s highest priorities, and we’re working closely with national authorities to develop and implement standards to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

Ensuring safety


This article is part of a series of explainers on vaccine development and distribution. Learn more about vaccines — from how they work and how they’re made to ensuring safety and equitable access — in WHO’s Vaccines Explained series.

Vaccines are a critical tool in the battle against COVID-19, and getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Getting vaccinated is safer than getting infected

Vaccines train our immune system to recognize the targeted virus and create antibodies to fight off the disease without getting the disease itself. …


Health centre malaria workers play a pivotal role in eliminating the disease in malaria hotspots.

Ly Kanha inspects a mosquito net at the house of Em Noun, a recovered malaria patient in Peam L’vear village in Cambodia. © WHO / Blink Media — Cindy Liu

The sand coloured health centers dotted across Cambodia’s provinces are fairly recognizable, even to an untrained eye. Most sport a canopy of red tile roofs with verandas that serve as waiting areas for incoming patients. Ly Kanha grew up familiar with the ins and outs of Cambodia’s health centres. She spent most of her childhood in the care of her grandparents who were both working as health professionals at the time.

“When I was young, my grandfather took me to the health centre, and I saw medical staff wearing medical uniforms,” says Kanha as she recounts memories of observing the…


As the morning light settled over Nadi Town on 10 March 2021, Fiji’s frontline team, who have been leading efforts to keep COVID-19 contained in the country, waited anxiously for the first distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Jin Ni/WHO

Only 3 days prior, Fiji welcomed its highly anticipated first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, supplied through the global COVAX facility — an initiative set up to facilitate the equitable distribution of safe COVID-19 vaccines to all countries, as rapidly as possible.

These vaccines play a key role in Fiji’s response to the global pandemic, in addition to continuing with other public health measures such…


Spanish Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya, reflects on the role of women in polio eradication after her visit to Chad.

With the polio vaccine, new-born children have a better chance of a healthy life © WHO/Chad

Therese and Léonie reminded me of this hard truth in a recent visit to a hospital in N’Djaména, Chad. One is a newborn girl and the other is a veteran of the campaign to eradicate a human disease for only the second time in history –polio-.

As a Gender Champion for Polio Eradication, I have committed to supporting the global initiative to eradicate polio and the women who work tirelessly to protect children from lifelong paralysis. …


This article is part of a series of explainers on vaccine development and distribution. Learn more about vaccines — from how they work and how they’re made to ensuring safety and equitable access — in WHO’s Vaccines Explained series.

All viruses — including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 — evolve over time. When a virus replicates or makes copies of itself, it sometimes changes a little bit, which is normal for a virus. These changes are called “mutations”. A virus with one or more new mutations is referred to as a “variant” of the original virus.

What causes a virus to change to a new variant?

When a virus…


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated global demand for oxygen and made the delivery of oxygen supplies more urgent. WHO is working in the most vulnerable countries to scale up oxygen supply.

WHO staff Mohamed Ahmed Helal inspects boxes of oxygen concentrators bound for Yemen and Libya at a WHO warehouse in Dubai. © WHO / Natalie Naccache

Oxygen is an essential medicine used to care for patients at all levels of the healthcare system, including in surgery, trauma, heart failure, asthma, pneumonia and maternal and child care.

Pneumonia alone accounts for 800 000 deaths per year. It is estimated that 20–40% of these deaths could be prevented with the availability of oxygen therapy.

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