Published: Sat, January 23, 2021
Science | By

Pfizer to supply 40M COVID-19 shots for poor countries

Pfizer to supply 40M COVID-19 shots for poor countries

The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, like the one made by Pfizer and BioNTech, appears to induce rare anaphylactic reactions in a small number of people who receive the vaccine, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest.

While dozens of the world's richer countries have begun their vaccination campaigns in a bid to curb the pandemic, coronavirus jabs have been few and far between in the world's poorer nations.

People who do have an allergic reaction after their first shot of Moderna or Pfizer's vaccine should not get their second dose, the CDC says.

However, Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech said they would provide their vaccine to COVAX at an undisclosed "not-for-profit price".

Aimed at pooling the risk and rewards, Covax has struck agreements with manufacturers for two billion vaccine doses, and has secured options on a further billion. "COVAX is a truly global initiative and we are happy to support by making BNT162b2 available in many low- and lower-middle-income countries to help protect vulnerable people worldwide", said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech.

Gavi chief executive Seth Berkley said almost 150 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine were ready to ship through Covax - pending emergency use approval from the World Health Organization, which is on course to happen in mid-February.

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The WHO said earlier this week it planned to deliver 135 million vaccines in the first quarter of 2021, without giving a breakdown by supplier.

Covax still needs to finalise a supply agreement for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Berkley said Covax could procure 2.3 billion vaccine doses this year, which, he said, would equate to close to 1.8 billion doses for the poorest 92 countries - enough to vaccinate about 27 percent of the population, an upgrade on the initial target.

'Pfizer and BioNTech's Phase 3 study for the COVID-19 vaccine was created to evaluate the vaccine's safety and efficacy following a 2-dose schedule, separated by 21 days, ' the companies said in a statement to CNBC.

Both Moderna and Pfizer tell CTV News they have no data on the efficacy of their vaccines past the recommended dates.

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