KOMPAS.com - World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said recently that an agreement has been made between his UN agency’s COVAX scheme and vaccine maker Pfizer-BioNTech for 40 million doses for poorer countries.
Another 150 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine will come in the first quarter of 2021 under COVAX - assuming WHO safety clearance, said Seth Berkley, chief executive of the private-public vaccination fund GAVI.
Addressing a press conference in Geneva, UN agency head Tedros added that fresh US “commitment” under new President Joe Biden to join COVAX meant “that we are closer to fulfilling” the scheme's promise.
Launched last year before vaccines became readily available, COVAX's initial aim is to immunize the most vulnerable 20% of poorer coronavirus-threatened nations. Earlier this week, Tedros blasted rich countries over hoarding.
Pfizer chairman Albert Bourla told the virtual Geneva conference that the initial dispatch would be on a not-for-profit basis, adding developing countries should have “the same access to vaccines as the rest of the world.”
The Geneva announcements come as wealthy countries inoculate millions, some using shots procured under bilateral deals, decried officially, for example, by the European Union (EU).
Asked how many vaccine doses all manufacturers might produce this year, GAVI's Berkley said: "I think we're talking about numbers in the range of six to seven billion doses."