London: Pfizer and BioNTech have agreed to provide their Covid-19 vaccine to the World Health Organization’s Covax vaccine access program, two sources familiar with the deal said, the latest in a series of snapshots that will be included in the project targeting income countries Low.
The deal is expected to be announced on Friday, according to the sources, who asked not to be named because of the confidentiality of the agreement.
It was not immediately clear about the size of the deal or the price of the dose Kovacs would pay, but sources said the allocation would likely be relatively small.
One source said the reason for the limited volume is that the doses were primarily intended for healthcare workers in the countries Covax serves.
BioNTech declined to comment while Pfizer did not respond to requests for comment. Spokespeople for the World Health Organization and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, which is co-leading the Covax scheme, declined to comment.
The WHO chief adviser, Bruce Aylward, said on Monday that the Kovacs plan is in “very detailed discussions” with Pfizer, which has already allocated hundreds of millions of doses this year to many rich countries and is expected to be able to include the vaccine in Kovacs. “Too. So.”
The Covax plan is set to start distributing Covid-19 vaccines to poor and middle-income countries in February.
Ukraine said earlier on Thursday that its first delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine under the Covax scheme could arrive in the first half in February. – With 210,000 doses of the Moderna, Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines.
Covax said it hopes to deliver more than 2 billion Covid-19 doses worldwide this year. In an updated forecast published on Thursday, it said it plans to provide about 1.8 billion doses in 2021 to 92 poor countries, covering about 27% of their population.
The scheme – Led by the World Health Organization, the Gavi Vaccine Alliance and the Alliance for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) – It was established last year amid concerns that poor countries will lose out as rich nations scramble to purchase Covid-19 vaccines to vaccinate their populations.
Covax has so far secured supplies of future vaccines from AstraZeneca, in collaboration with the University of Oxford; Serum India Institute (SII) as well with Sanofi and its partner GSK. It also has a Memorandum of Understanding on deliveries from Johnson & Johnson.
Pfizer will be Covax’s second deal, after the deal with AstraZeneca, which covers a product with regulatory approval in some countries.
The additional commitment by Pfizer comes as frustration in European countries grows over the US pharmaceutical company’s unexpected cut in supplies. Pfizer said last week it would cut deliveries until early February to upgrade production capacity to increase production later.
The Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is the only vaccine to date that has received WHO approval for its emergency use list.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported that the World Health Organization is planning to approve several Covid-19 vaccines from Western and Chinese manufacturers in the coming weeks and months as they aim to rapidly spread to poor countries.
BioNTech and Pfizer said this month that they are aiming to deliver 2 billion doses of vaccines this year, up from the previous target of 1.3 billion.
Their injection is more complicated in transportation and storage, and requires extremely cold freezers, which may not be practical in poor countries with hot climates.