COVAX and 172 Countries
Till today 172 world economies are engaged in discussions to participate in COVAX, a global initiative aimed at working with vaccine manufacturers to provide worldwide countries with safe and effective vaccines once they are approved and licensed. COVAX includes 9 candidate vaccines with additional 9 under evaluation. They ensure the availability of vaccine worldwide for both lower and higher income countries.
In order to secure enough doses of vaccines to protect the vulnerable populations like health workers and elderly, the next step for the partnership is to confirm potential self-financing participants intent to participate by 31st August. "COVID-19 is an unprecedented global health challenge that can only be met with unprecedented cooperation between governments, researchers, partners and manufacturers" said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO.
Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is the leading COVAX vaccine research and development work which aims to develop 3 safe and efficacious vaccines which can be made available all over the countries participating in COVAX facility. 9 candidates are supported by CEPI, among them 7 are currently in clinical trials. COVAX is further considering to procure vaccines that complement the portfolio from any producer in the world. "COVAX can deliver vaccines that could end the pandemic, but further more countries should lend their hand to address the funding short falls" said Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI.
A collaboration between Serum Institute of India (SII), Gavi and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that they will ensure uptown 100 million doses of Astra Zeneca or Novavax's candidate vaccines, if successful will be available to low and middle income economies through COVAX facility at US $3 per dose.