COVAX to purchase 40 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Grant Boone
January 23, 2021

While dozens of the world's richer countries have begun their vaccination campaigns in a bid to curb the pandemic, coronavirus jabs have been few and far between in the world's poorer nations.

Rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which has already received World Health Organization emergency use listing, will commence with the successful negotiation and execution of supply agreements, according to a COVAX announcement.

"Science will win, and will win for everyone", he told the press conference.

He said he hoped the agreement would also encourage other countries to donate more of their Pfizer shots to support rapid roll-out, like Norway has.

In Covax, funding is covered for the 92 lower- and lower-middle income economies involved, while for richer countries, it operates as a back-up insurance policy. In December, the COVAX program entered an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) for 170 million doses of a coronavirus candidate that has been authorized for use in the United Kingdom and India. He described it as an initial agreement, and said more doses could be provided through the COVAX programme in future.

Originally, each vial of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine was created to contain five doses, but some pharmacists reported they could extract six doses when using certain syringes.

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Hinshaw said there are still "many unknowns" about these particular vaccines but insight into other vaccines may be relevant.

He said Covax should be able to deliver those doses in the first quarter of 2021.

COVAX is now the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.

"We are one step closer to ending this global health crisis, proving that science will win, and will win for everyone", he said.

"But we can only end the pandemic anywhere if we end it everywhere".

Over 1,200 adverse events were reported after receipt of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine as of January 10, with 10 cases determined to be anaphylaxis, according to a report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday.

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