One hundred million additional doses of future COVID-19 vaccines have been set aside for poor countries, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), which works with the World Health Organization (WHO), said on Tuesday.
In early August, Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gate Foundation had already announced a collaboration with the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, to deliver 100 million doses.
The vaccines will be sold at a maximum price of $ 3 per dose, with the possibility of obtaining more.
Developed by the Swedish-British pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and American Novavax, they will then be manufactured by the SII which will donate them to the coalition against the coronavirus launched by the WHO and called Covax (COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access; global access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
This collaboration will allow the Indian institute to increase its production capacity now so that, once one or more vaccines have obtained regulatory approval and the green light from the WHO, the doses can be distributed. in low and middle income countries not before the first half of 2021.
As part of this collaboration, AstraZeneca's vaccine potential will be made available to 61 countries, while that of Novavax will be available for all 92 countries supported by the Covax mechanism.
“No country, rich or poor, should be left behind when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines,” Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, said in a statement.
“At this point, it is important that governments, global health and financial institutions in the public and private sectors come together to ensure that no one is left behind,” said SII Executive Director Adar Poonawalla.
The Covax mechanism is part of the international device created by the UN to accelerate equitable access to tools to fight COVID-19, the ACT Accelerator. The UN, however, received only $ 3 billion of the $ 38 billion requested.
As part of this, AstraZeneca pledged in June to distribute 300 million doses to Gavi – in addition to the agreement reached through the Indian institute.
The WHO has set a target of having 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021, while the pandemic of the new coronavirus has killed more than a million people worldwide since the first cases appeared in late December in China.