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January 23, 2021

COVAX announces new Agreement and Plans for Pfizer and Oxford Vaccine Deliveries.

Covax, Geneva, WHO

Photo: UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), and Dr. Sylvie Briand, Director, Global Infections Hazard Preparedness of WHO, during a strategic briefing on COVID-19 at Strategic Health Operations Centre (SHOC) in the headquarters of WHO in Geneva. 24 February 2020. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré.

Geneva/Oslo 22 January 2021 - COVAX, the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level, today announced the signing of 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.

COVAX also confirmed that it would exercise an option via an existing agreement with India’s Serum Institute (SII). It would receive its first 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University-developed vaccine manufactured by SII.

Of these first 100 million doses, most are earmarked for delivery in the first quarter of the year, pending WHO Emergency Use Listing. The WHO review process, which is currently underway, follows approval for restricted use in emergencies by the Drugs Controller General of India earlier this month and is a critical aspect of ensuring that any vaccine procured through COVAX is fully quality assured for international use.

COVAX also anticipates that, via an existing agreement with AstraZeneca, at least 50 million further doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will be available for delivery to COVAX participants in Q1 2021, pending emergency use listing by WHO of the COVAX-specific manufacturing network for these doses. A decision on this candidate is also anticipated by WHO in February.

“Today marks another milestone for COVAX: pending regulatory approval for the AstraZeneca/Oxford candidate and pending the successful conclusion of the supply agreement for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, we anticipate being able to begin deliveries of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines by the end of February. It 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,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which leads COVAX procurement and delivery.

Preparations, led by WHO, UNICEF, and Gavi, are already well underway for COVAX to deliver vaccines to economies eligible for support via the COVAX AMC, with Gavi making US$ 150 million available from its core funding as initial, catalytic support for preparedness and delivery.

“The urgent and equitable rollout of vaccines is not just a moral imperative, it’s also a health security, strategic and economic imperative,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

“Country Readiness Portal” will be launched by WHO this month, which will allow AMC participants to submit final national deployment and vaccination plans (NDVPs).

“These purchase agreements open the door for these lifesaving vaccines to become available to people in the most vulnerable countries,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “But at the same time we are securing vaccines, we must also ensure that countries are ready to receive them, deploy them, and build trust in them.”

The COVAX Facility intends to provide all 190 participating economies with an indicative allocation of doses by the end of this month. This indicative allocation will provide interim guidance to participants - offering a minimum planning scenario to enable preparations for the final portion of the number of doses each participant will receive in the first rounds of vaccine distribution.

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT), is co-led by CEPI, Gavi, and WHO, operating with vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.

The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT) is a new, ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. It was set up in response to a call from G20 leaders in March and launched by the WHO, European Commission, France, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in April 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:56 AM | Link to this Post

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