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WHO turns up the heat on vaccine manufacturers

Published: (Updated: ) in European News by .

India’s vaccine export ban has meant COVAX is facing a supply squeeze.

The World Health Organization called on coronavirus vaccine manufacturers on Monday to bring forward deliveries of doses to COVAX as the mechanism faces a shortfall of 190 million doses by the end of June.

COVAX, the facility that is meant to ensure equitable distribution of jabs, has been unable to access Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines from the Serum Institute of India — currently, the main provider to COVAX — as Delhi has blocked vaccine exports due to the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases and deaths. 

Citing that shortfall, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pointed to Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, calling on them to bring forward their deliveries. Forty million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine have been committed to COVAX for the second half of 2021, while Moderna has signed a deal for 500 million doses, with most promised for 2022.

Meanwhile, J&J is still in discussions with COVAX to provide doses in the second half of 2021, but Tedros cautioned that “this has not been finalized and we do not know when they will arrive”.

He also called on manufacturers to “publicly commit to helping any country that wants to share their vaccines with COVAX to lift contractual barriers within days not months”. That comment refers to the fact that taking doses from countries directly brings with it concerns about liability and storage that need to be overcome.

Manufacturers should give the right of first refusal to COVAX on any additional doses and should also “enter into deals with companies like Teva, Incepta, Biolyse and others who are willing to use their facilities to produce COVID-19 vaccines,” Tedros added.

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POLITICO has reported on how those firms, plus Bavarian Nordic, have yet to secure deals with large manufacturers. 

Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/who-turns-up-the-heat-on-vaccine-manufacturers/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

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