Pfizer to supply up to 40 million doses of Covid vaccine to Covax global immunization program

A nurse prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, at a vaccination heart, in Sarcelles close to Paris on January 10, 2021.

ALAIN JOCARD | AFP | Getty Images

Pfizer will supply up to 40 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to a global alliance aiming to present poor nations with coronavirus vaccines, the pinnacle of the World Health Organization stated Friday.

The deal will enable Covax — co-led by the WHO — to start delivering vaccine doses to taking part nations in February, WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated throughout a press briefing. Tedros added that, pending emergency authorization, the program expects 150 million doses of AstraZeneca‘s vaccine to change into obtainable for distribution within the first quarter of this yr.

The Covax program goals to present 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to taking part nations, which incorporates low- to middle-income nations, by the top of this yr. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two pictures unfold weeks aside, indicating the settlement would cowl simply 20 million individuals.

Tedros stated the settlement would additionally enable different nations with provides of Pfizer’s vaccine to donate them to the program. The WHO chief has been essential of rich nations which have signed supply agreements with drugmakers for his or her preliminary doses of Covid-19 vaccines, stockpiling provides away from poorer nations.

“This is not just significant for COVAX, it is a major step forward for equitable access to vaccines, and an essential part of the global effort to beat this pandemic. We will only be safe anywhere if we are safe everywhere,” Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, stated in a assertion.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla stated throughout the press briefing that the corporate will present the doses of vaccine to Covax and the poorer nations at a price. Pfizer was the primary firm to obtain a global emergency use itemizing for its vaccine from the WHO, permitting different nations to expedite their regulatory approval processes to start administering the vaccine.

Bourla stated the corporate will assist ship the doses, which require ultra-cold storage and particular dealing with, to low-income nations. UNICEF, which helps ship the doses, has beforehand warned some of the world’s poorest nations may face challenges storing and administering the pictures as soon as they arrive.

The program’s cope with Pfizer brings its supply agreements to simply over 2 billion doses whole, although it is going to proceed negotiations for extra supply. The purpose is to immunize well being care and different front-line staff, in addition to some high-risk people, starting within the first quarter this yr, in accordance to Covax.

The deal comes on the heels of the United States’ choice to stay a member of the WHO underneath President Joe Biden. The new administration will even be a part of the Covax program, a transfer that the Trump administration resisted final yr.

“I just couldn’t avoid the temptation to say that I’m very glad that this press conference is happening the day that the United States is rejoining the WHO organization. I think it’s a symbolic, great day for us,” Pfizer chief Bourla stated on the briefing.

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