A nurse prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center near Sarcelles, Paris, on January 10, 2021.
ALAIN JOCARD AFP | Getty Images
Pfizer will supply up to 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to a global alliance aimed at supplying poor nations with coronavirus vaccines, the World Health Organization chief said on Friday.
The agreement will allow Covax, co-led by the WHO, to begin delivering vaccine doses to participating countries in February, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference. Tedros added that until the emergency permit, the program is expected to market 150 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in the first quarter of this year.
The Covax program aims to deliver 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine to participating countries, including low- and middle-income countries, by the end of this year. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination requires a two-week gap, showing that the agreement only covers 20 million people.
According to Tedros, the agreement will allow other countries with Pfizer vaccines to offer these to the program. The WHO chief has been critical of rich nations that have signed supply agreements with drug manufacturers for initial doses of Covid-19 vaccines and stockpiled supplies from poorer nations.
“This is not only significant for COVAX, but significant progress towards equitable access to vaccines and is an essential part of the global effort to combat this epidemic. We will only be safe anywhere if we are safe everywhere,” Berkley, Gavi, The CEO of the Vaccine Association said in a statement.
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, said at a news conference that the company is providing vaccine doses to Covax and poorer nations at a cost. Pfizer was the first company to receive a global emergency use list of its vaccine from the WHO, allowing other countries to expedite their official approval processes to begin administering the vaccine.
Bourla said the company will help deliver doses that require ultra-cold storage and special treatment to low-income countries. UNICEF, which helps deliver doses, has previously warned that some of the world’s poorest countries may face challenges in storing and administering the shots as they arrive.
The program’s agreement with Pfizer exceeds the total supply agreement in excess of $ 2 billion, although it continues to negotiate additional supplies. The goal is to immunize healthcare and other cutting-edge workers, as well as some high-risk individuals, from the first quarter of this year, according to Covax.
The deal is on the corner of the U.S. decision to remain a member of the WHO under President Joe Biden. The new administration will also join the Covax program, a move the Trump administration resisted last year.
“I just couldn’t avoid the temptation to say I’m very happy that this press conference is taking place on the day the United States rejoins the WHO. I think it’s a symbolic, great day for us,” Pfizer said. leader, Bourla. he said at the briefing.