The Coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE will provide 40 million doses to the COVAX vaccine distribution program, aiming to take COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s poorest countries. In a joint statement, the two pharmaceutical firms announced that distribution would start in the first quarter of this year and continue through 2021.
AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson, two pharmaceutical companies developing candidate coronavirus vaccines, signed similar agreements for participation in COVAX.
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No matter what, the question remains when vaccination programs should begin in third world countries. As countries like the US, Britain, and the European Union accelerate their vaccination programs and keep closing new ones, countries like the Philippines are negotiating agreements to supply more vaccines.
Pfizer and BioNTech will supply just enough doses to immunize 20 million people using the COVAX vaccine. A very small number compared to vaccines directed to richer countries. There had already been orders for 200 million doses in the United States, which were due to arrive by July 31. However, in the European Union, the number of packages reaches 600 million by the end of the year.
According to TentrosAdenomGebregesus, the head of the World Health Organization, countries rush to close deals and “distract other countries” as the world nears “moral catastrophe”.
The Covax vaccine is scheduled for distribution this year to the most vulnerable 20% of the country’s population, rich or poor. Under Covax, they provide 92 lower- to lower-middle-income economies, while a backup plan is in place for rich economies. The goal of Covax is to share the risks and rewards resulting from the vaccine production process with manufacturers by partnerships.
The Initiative is being carried out in partnership with the WHO and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.