UNICEF chief sees H1 "crush" in COVID-19 vaccine demand easing in H2

GENEVA, Jan 29 (Reuters) - The U.N. Children’s Fund, the largest single buyer of vaccines in the world, expects a “crush” of demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the first year, with supplies only loosening in the second half, UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said on Friday.

Fore, speaking to an event organised by the World Economic Forum, said: “What has happened in our world is that we now have a crush of demand here in the first half of the year and yet what it looks like from a manufacturing and availability point of view is that it’s the second half of the year when we are going to have the supply available. So timing is a big problem and a big issue but it gives us time to plan.”

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman and ceo of DP World which signed a partnership with UNICEF earlier this week, said that demand for shipping goods was creating a shortage of empty containers in the market.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Alexander Cornwell in Dubai;