Home Health News Exclusive: Pfizer-BioNTech agree to supply WHO co-led COVID-19 vaccine scheme – sources

Exclusive: Pfizer-BioNTech agree to supply WHO co-led COVID-19 vaccine scheme – sources

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LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Pfizer and BioNTech have agreed to supply their COVID-19 vaccine to the World Health Organization co-led COVAX vaccine entry scheme, two sources conversant in the deal stated, the newest in a collection of photographs to be included within the mission aimed toward decrease-earnings international locations.

The deal is predicted to be introduced on Friday, in accordance to the sources, who declined to be named due to the confidentiality of the settlement.

Details on the scale of the deal or the worth per dose COVAX would pay weren’t instantly clear, however the sources stated the allotment would probably be comparatively small. One supply stated the rationale for the restricted quantity was that the doses have been primarily meant for healthcare staff within the international locations that COVAX serves.

BioNTech declined to remark whereas Pfizer didn’t reply to requests for remark. Spokespeople for the WHO and the GAVI vaccine alliance, which co-leads the COVAX scheme, additionally declined to remark.

Senior WHO adviser Bruce Aylward stated on Monday the COVAX scheme was in “very detailed discussions” with Pfizer, which has already dedicated lots of of tens of millions of doses this yr to a number of rich nations, and anticipated to give you the option to embrace the vaccine in COVAX “very soon”.

The COVAX scheme is about to start distributing COVID-19 vaccines to poor and center earnings international locations in February.

Ukraine stated earlier on Thursday that its first delievery of COVID-19 vaccine underneath the COVAX scheme may arrive within the first half on February – with 210,000 doses of both the Moderna, Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines.

COVAX has stated it hopes to ship greater than 2 billion COVID-19 doses internationally this yr. In an up to date forecast revealed on Thursday, it stated it deliberate to ship round 1.8 billion doses in 2021 to 92 poorer international locations, overlaying round 27% of their populations.

The scheme – led by the WHO, the GAVI vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)- was arrange final yr amid issues that poorer nations would lose out whereas wealthy international locations scrambled to procure COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate their populations.

COVAX has up to now secured future vaccine suplies from AstraZeneca, working with Oxford University; the Serum Institute of India (SII) in addition to with Sanofi and its companion GSK. It additionally has a memorandum of understanding over deliveries from Johnson & Johnson.

The Pfizer deal can be COVAX’s second, after the one with AstraZeneca, that covers a product with regulatory approval in some international locations.

The extra dedication by Pfizer comes as frustration grows in European international locations over the U.S. drugmaker’s surprising minimize in provides. Pfizer stated final week it could cut back deliveries till early February to improve manufacturing capability for a later output increase.

The Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the one shot up to now to have WHO emergency use itemizing approval.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that the WHO plans to approve a number of COVID-19 vaccines from Western and Chinese producers within the coming weeks and months because it goals for speedy rollouts in poorer international locations.

BioNTech and Pfizer stated this month they have been aiming to ship 2 billion vaccine doses this yr, up from a earlier purpose of 1.3 billion.

Their shot is extra difficult to transport and retailer, requiring extremely-chilly freezers, which might not be sensible for poorer international locations with scorching climates.

Reporting by Kate Kelland in London and Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; Editing by Josephine Mason and Hugh Lawson

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