January 22, 21 - 3:59 pm - LABS

WHO’s Covax acquires 40 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19

In a press conference this Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Covax, the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, has signed an advance purchase agreement with Pfizer for up to 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine candidate, which has already received WHO emergency use listing. The rollout will commence with the successful negotiation and execution of supply agreements.

Additionally, COVAX announced that, pending WHO emergency use listings, nearly 150 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford candidate are anticipated to be available in Q1 2021, via existing agreements with the Serum Institute of India (SII) and AstraZeneca.

Therefore, the alliance is on track to deliver around 1.8 billion doses by the end of the year – at least 1.3 billion doses to 92 lower-income economies (including the ones from Latin America) within the so-called Gavi COVAX AMC financial mechanism.

COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), responsible for R&D initiatives regarding the alliance, Gavi (alliance founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alongside other entities), Unicef, and WHO.

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, which leads COVAX’s procurement and delivery tasks.

In LatAm, almost all countries joined Covax, but some countries have asked to participate in the initiative in a much more timid way than expected. For example, Brazil conditioned its entry to the guarantee of vaccines for 10% of its population, when it could have guaranteed up to 50%.