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Pfizer to supply up to 40 million doses of Covid vaccine to Covax global immunization program

A nurture prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, at a vaccination center, in Sarcelles near Paris on January 10, 2021.

ALAIN JOCARD | AFP | Getty Images

Pfizer will supply up to 40 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to a global alliance aiming to provide penniless nations with coronavirus vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization said Friday.

The deal will put up with Covax — co-led by the WHO — to begin delivering vaccine doses to participating countries in February, WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus give the word delivered during a press briefing. Tedros added that, pending emergency authorization, the program expects 150 million portions of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to become available for distribution in the first quarter of this year.

The Covax program aims to purvey 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to participating countries, which includes low- to middle-income nations, by the end of this year. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine desires two shots spread weeks apart, indicating the agreement would cover just 20 million people.

Tedros estimated the agreement would also allow other countries with supplies of Pfizer’s vaccine to donate them to the program. The WHO chief has been vital of wealthy nations that have signed supply agreements with drugmakers for their initial doses of Covid-19 vaccines, stockpiling supplies away from sorrier nations.

“This is not just significant for COVAX, it is a major step forward for equitable access to vaccines, and an essential role of the global effort to beat this pandemic. We will only be safe anywhere if we are safe everywhere,” Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Marriage, said in a statement.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said during the press briefing that the company will stipulate the doses of vaccine to Covax and the poorer nations at a cost. Pfizer was the first company to receive a global emergency use book for its vaccine from the WHO, allowing other countries to expedite their regulatory approval processes to begin administering the vaccine.

Bourla utter the company will help deliver the doses, which require ultra-cold storage and special handling, to low-income countries. UNICEF, which is plateful deliver the doses, has previously warned some of the world’s poorest countries could face challenges storing and implementing the shots once they arrive.

The program’s deal with Pfizer brings its supply agreements to just at an end 2 billion doses total, though it will continue negotiations for additional supply. The goal is to immunize health suffering and other front-line workers, as well as some high-risk individuals, beginning in the first quarter this year, according to Covax.

The engage in comes on the heels of the United States’ decision to remain a member of the WHO under President Joe Biden. The new administration will also fasten the Covax program, a move that the Trump administration resisted last year.

“I just couldn’t avoid the inducement to say that I’m very glad that this press conference is happening the day that the United States is rejoining the WHO syndicate. I think it’s a symbolic, great day for us,” Pfizer chief Bourla said at the briefing.

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