COVAX signs deal for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Jan. 28, 2021

COVAX, the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level, said it signed an advance purchase agreement with Pfizer for up to 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine candidate, according to a news release from the organization.

The vaccine has already received emergency use listing from the World Health Organization (WHO). COVAX also said rollout would begin after negotiation and execution of supply agreements.

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

Of these first 100 million doses, the majority 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 emergency situations by the Drugs Controller General of India earlier this month, COVAX. said. According to the latest WHO update, a decision on this vaccine candidate is anticipated by the middle of February. 

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.

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

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, a public-private vaccine alliance, and WHO. COVAX works with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, the World Bank, and others.

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